Greencoat launches Irish unit, buys 137MW from Brookfield

The manager of the UK-listed wind fund has set up an Irish counterpart just a few months after unveiling a solar investment vehicle.

London-based investment firm Greencoat Capital has launched a new Irish renewables company as it continues to expand its offering beyond the UK wind sector.

Newly founded Greencoat Renewables will be targeting the wider renewable energy market but has begun with the acquisition of two wind farms from Brookfield Renewable Ireland with a combined capacity of 137MW. It has been seeded with capital from Allied Irish Banks and the €8 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

The deal includes the purchase of the 100MW Knockacummer wind farm and the 37.6MW Killhills project. The former is Ireland’s largest operating wind farm, although its status is set to be surpassed later this year when the 169MW Galway site begins operating. Both acquired projects have been operational since 2014.

Greencoat’s newest projects were part of a portfolio bought by Brookfield as the Canadian firm marked its entry into Europe in March 2014 by acquiring Irish utility Bord Gáis Éireann’s entire wind portfolio, a deal with an enterprise value of €700 million. Brookfield still has over 60MW currently in construction and a development pipeline of more than 200MW in Ireland.

“Ireland is an attractive market in which to generate renewable energy from wind, given its strong wind resource and long established regulatory backdrop,” said Paul O'Donnell, a partner at Greencoat Capital. “We look forward to building upon the infrastructure success we have had in the UK, now with an Irish focus.”

The creation of the Irish division comes just three months after Greencoat launched an unlisted UK solar fund to diversify from its £900 million ($1.1 billion; €1 billion) listed UK wind vehicle. The solar fund bought 108MW upon its launch and is targeting another 150MW over the next few months.