Irish Investor Forays into Offshore Wind

Irish investment company Greencoat Renewables PLC has signed an agreement to acquire 50 per cent of the 312 MW Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm in Germany.

Greencoat Renewables will acquire the stake from Kirkbi A/S (31.5 per cent) and William Demant Invest A/S (18.5 per cent) for a total cash consideration of around EUR 350 million.

The wind farm was developed and constructed by Ørsted, which remains a 50 per cent shareholder.

The transaction is subject to regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

This is the first investment into an offshore wind project for Greencoat Renewables, as well as the company’s first investment in Germany.

Borkum Riffgrund 1 is located in Germany’s exclusive economic zone in the North Sea and consists of 78 Siemens Gamesa 4.0 MW turbines that have been operational since 2015.

Ørsted will continue to provide operation, maintenance, and management services to the wind farm under a long-term contract.

”We are very pleased to enter the continental offshore wind market with a significant strategic stake in Borkum Riffgrund 1,” Bertrand Gautier, Investment Manager at Greencoat Renewables, said.

The wind farm benefits from a fixed-price CfD until September 2024. After this period, the project benefits from a government-backed floor price for the electricity sold until May 2035. This provides exposure to power price upside as well as the emerging European corporate PPA market opportunity, Greencoat Renewables said.

”This acquisition will contribute to Greencoat Renewables’ strategy to build a diversified portfolio of high-quality renewable electricity generation assets supported by strong contracted cash-flows and will support the Company’s further expansion into continental Europe,” Gautier said.

”The acquisition further strengthens Greencoat Renewables’ partnership with Ørsted and positions us well for future acquisitions in the European offshore sector. We believe that offshore wind is key in allowing governments to reach their decarbonization objectives and we see a c.63GW investment opportunity across our selected jurisdictions by 2030.”

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Photo: Borkum Riffgrund 1; Photo source: Ørsted (archive)