Coillte sells stake in Connemara wind farm as part of €136 million deal

Galway Daily news Plans in the works for Wind Farm near Moylough

Coillte has sold its 50% stake in Cloosh Valley wind farm in Connemara as part of a €136 million deal to divest from wind farm assets in Galway and around Ireland.

The wind farm, built in Connemara’s Cloosh Valley, was co-developed by Coillte and SSE Airtricity, which owns the other 50% share.

Greencoat Renewables has purchased Coillte‘s share of Cloosh Valley wind farm, as well as 50% stakes in Raheenleagh wind farm in Co. Wexford and Castlepook wind farm in Cork, as well as a 25% stake in Sliabh Bawn wind farm in Roscommon.

The Irish based investor in renewable energy paid a total of €136.1 million for all four wind farms, significantly more than their €125 million valuation by Coillte when first put up for sale.

Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive of Coillte said the sale, ” demonstrates the exceptional quality of the renewable energy assets which we have developed over the last four years.”

“This sale clearly demonstrates the value we can create from every hectare of land we own to ultimately deliver enhanced value to our shareholder.

“The proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in the business to generate more value and to enhance the overall value of the Group.”

“Over the coming months we will announce details of how we plan to develop in excess of 1,000 MW of renewable energy generating capacity over the next 10 years across a pipeline of 25 projects we have identified on the Coillte estate.”

The Cloosh valley farm is a major part of Galway Wind Park, making up 36 of the 69 turbines in the largest wind farm in Ireland.

Galway Wind Park came online last year, with the capacity to generate over 600GWh of green energy a year, enough to power every home in Galway city and county.

Over the past four years, Coillte has invested €25 million in developing the wind farms being sold, along with its partners ESB, Bord na Móna, and SSE, on top of contributing the land for them.

The €136 million sale announced this week marks a major return on the investment Coillte has made in renewable energy.

Bernard Gautier, Partner at Greencoat Capital said: “We are delighted with this investment into one of Ireland’s premier infrastructure portfolios, and alongside some of the country’s most experienced and trusted utilities.”

“As a strategic scale asset, this is another example of our ability to find value across the entire market, and allows Coillte to recycle its capital to build out their significant development portfolio. We look forward to deepening our strategic partnerships with SSE, ESB, Bord Na Mona, and Coillte itself.”

While Coillte is selling its stake in the wind farm itself, it will retain ownership of the land in Cloosh Valley it’s built on, which will continue to be a source of revenue as it rents the land for the utilities’ use.