The State is taking a €35 million punt on a huge new wind energy venture

Feb 29th 2016, 4:52 PM The Journal

THE IRISH STATE’S investment fund has committed €35 million to a new wind energy project that will build multiple wind farms across the country.

NTR, formerly one of Ireland’s largest publicly listed companies, announced today that it secured €250 million in equity for a new investment vehicle called NTR Wind 1 that will build onshore wind farms in Ireland and the UK.

The most recent investors in the fund are the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which has pledged €35 million, and the Strathclyde Pension Fund, one of the largest pension funds in the UK, which has committed €50 million.

ISIF was established to invest the €7 billion remaining in the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF), after the NPRF’s €20 billion in assets were used during the crash to help the State keep afloat.

The new fund from NTR is set to use the €250 million committed to the project to raise a further €420 million of debt to build wind farms with a combined capacity of 270 megawatts (MW) across Ireland and the UK.

The Irish Wind Energy Association estimates that 1MW of wind energy can provide enough electricity to supply approximately about 650 homes.

Legal and General Capital, the investment arm of FTSE 100 firm Legal and General Group, has committed just under half of the funding for NTR Wind 1. NTR has also committed €50 million of its own equity to the new fund.