ESB and EIB have today signed a loan facility for €100 million. These funds will be used to enable continued investment in the electricity network in the south west region of the country to connect renewable energy to the national transmission network.
This is the second part of a total loan facility of €200m agreed by ESB Networks with the European Investment Bank. The first tranche was signed in December last year.
EIB has been a partner to ESB in investing in the Irish electricity infrastructure for many years. Speaking at the official signing event, Marguerite Sayers, MD ESB Networks Ltd said: “Both of our strategies are firmly aligned in terms of sustainability, protecting the environment and developing world class energy infrastructure and we are also aligned in our requirements for commercial long lasting investments. This latest loan will enable ESB to further develop renewable generation in the south west region of the country. I look forward to working with the EIB in the years to come as we ensure our electricity infrastructure remains a world class benchmark for leading technology and wind farm connection.”
Jonathan Taylor, Vice President EIB said: “Investment in both renewable energy and grid infrastructure is essential to secure the supply of green energy for the future and reduce carbon emissions. The European Investment Bank is pleased to continue many years of close cooperation with ESB to support this new investment in Ireland’s energy infrastructure that will support construction jobs and local contractors and help address the country’s future energy needs.”
Also attending today’s event was Alex White TD, Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, who added: “Today’s announcement of the second tranche of EIB financing is a very welcome additional ESB investment in the South West. Ireland supports the EIB’s strategy of funding sound and sustainable investment projects that contribute to furthering EU policy objectives – like these ones, which will help ensure the development of a secure and sustainable energy network in Ireland. This will contribute to economic recovery and job creation and I wish ESB and the EIB every success with their funding arrangement.”
The new EIB financing will support work to connect wind farms in the south-west into the national grid and construction of five new substations. This will be through a 20 year loan that reflects the long-term nature of this investment and allow the costs to be spread over the lengthy operating period.
Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has supported nearly EUR 2 billion of investment in energy infrastructure in Ireland, including the East-West Interconnector and new renewable energy projects. Around half of this has been with ESB to support upgrading of Ireland’s electricity distribution and national transmission network and for construction of new links essential to connect wind farms in the windiest part of Ireland with main population centres.
Press release; Image: TenneT (Illustration)