Highfield Solar secures €65m financing for Irish Solar PV expansion

Berlin/Germany, Dublin/Ireland, Bristol/UK, February 26th, 2024

Following the successful completion of a 282MWp portfolio now operational in Ireland, Highfield Solar has secured project financing to fund the construction and operation of an additional Solar PV project with 93MWp of installed capacity.

Highfield Solar Limited, a joint venture established in 2014 between renewable energy developers ib vogt, Highfield Energy and Aura Power, has successfully reached financial close on a €65 million project financing debt facility for the 93MWp Gaskinstown solar PV plant in Ireland. Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. are again the lenders following the financing of the Rathnaskilloge 106MWp project in December 2023; a project also originally developed by Highfield Solar.

The Gaskinstown project was successful in the Government of Ireland’s second competitive Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 2) auction run by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications in 2022. The RESS auctions have been designed to promote investment in renewable energy and deliver on Ireland’s 80% renewable electricity target by 2030.  Highfield Solar is proud to be contributing to this important goal on the path to the decarbonisation of Ireland’s electricity system.

Participation in the RESS scheme will guarantee that communities, clubs and societies local to the project will benefit from funding of approximately €150,000 each year for the duration of the term of RESS support of 15 years.

Matheson LLP supported Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. through the transaction, and technical advice was provided by Krug & Schram.

Highfield were supported by Mason Hayes and Curran LLP and Augustus Cullen Law.

“This Gaskinstown project as well as the recently closed Rathnaskilloge project are the continuation of a tremendously successful joint venture, building some of the largest solar plants in Ireland,” said Anton Milner, CEO of ib vogt. “I would also like to thank our financing partners, who are making significant investments to enable clean, renewable energy in the country. Through the ecological and economic benefits as well as the benefits through the RESS scheme, these projects will make a long-lasting positive impact for the communities and people in the region.”  

“We are delighted Highfield Solar has reached this significant milestone and we are now looking forward to the continued roll-out of our portfolio.  This is the result of years of planning and investment in these projects.  We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with our partners in Highfield Solar; ib vogt and Aura Power and their experience and knowledge allied with our own has been invaluable. As a company founded in Ireland, we are hugely proud of our role in continuing to attract such significant investment into the country for renewable electricity generation projects. It is also very important to us that the establishment of the associated community benefit funds will make significant contributions to the locality over the next decade and beyond”, says Peter Kavanagh, Managing Director of Highfield Energy  

“It’s exciting to reach this significant milestone which will bring the project to fruition. Gaskinstown solar was awarded one of the highest solar PV capacities in the RESS 2 auction and together with our partners, we look forward to bringing more solar PV projects through to the Irish market” says Simon Coulson, Director at Aura Power.

Project Details

With a total capacity of 93 MWp, the Gaskinstown solar PV plant will be located on a ca. 81-hectare site near the village of Duleek, County Meath.

The project will utilize high-capacity bifacial modules on fixed-tilt support structures for optimized land use and efficiency. Work on the grid connection infrastructure has already commenced and Solar PV construction is expected to be completed in September 2024.

ib vogt has provided development funding and technical engineering support to Highfield Solar and will provide EPC and initial O&M services for the PV projects.

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