Forestry firm seeks 1GW pipeline in Ireland

IRELAND: Forestry firm Coillte is exploring a range of partnership and joint venture models to enable it to develop more than 1GW of wind farms.

Coillte co-owns the Sliabh Bawn project, as well as several other projects in Ireland
Coillte co-owns the Sliabh Bawn project, as well as several other projects in Ireland

Coillte stated it would have a "competitive dialogue" with interested parties in the renewable sector to identify the best options before launching a tender process for a 25-project pipeline in 2018, the board said.

The land solutions company, owns 7% of Ireland’s land, and it claims nearly a third of the country’s wind farms are located on its land.

It also co-owns several projects in the country.

According to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, Coillte co-owns the 58MW Sliabh Bawn site, the 35.2MW Raheenleagh project and the 105MW second phase of the Galway Wind Park, which is due online by the end of 2017.

In a statement, Coillte said it would consider selling part of or all of its existing wind assets to fund new development opportunities.

Coillte chief executive Fergal Leamy said: "We are evaluating a range of options in this regard to determine the most value enhancing and strategically attractive business model.

"To put the scale of our ambition into context, 1GW would represent approximately 33% of Ireland’s current renewable energy production, providing enough power to fuel up to a million households annually and shows our commitment to sustainability and making a significant contribution to delivering Ireland’s renewable energy targets."

Coillte has provisionally appointed IBI Corporate Finance and Capricorn to advise the company as it researches options.

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