Irish wind energy developer and green power retailer Airtricity has committed to sell a 49% shareholding in its 24 MW Ardrossan wind project in Scotland to Australian investment fund Viridis Clean Energy Group. Under the deal, Viridis will also provide subordinated project debt, bringing the value of the transaction to £10.5 million. Ardrossan wind farm, comprising 12 Vestas turbines, is in the final stages of commissioning on Scotland's west coast. Airtricity will continue to own the 51% majority stake in the project and will be responsible for its day-to-day management. Output will be sold to Powergen under a long term contract. According to Airtricity's Eddie O'Connor, the UK government's initiatives in setting high targets for renewables and introducing a market for Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) has begun to transform the landscape for investment in electricity generation assets. "Entrepreneurial firms such as Airtricity have been encouraged to get involved in developing both onshore and offshore, and capital is attracted to the sector from funds such as Viridis Clean Energy Group," he says. "This is a landmark transaction...as it clearly demonstrates that the long term nature of these wind farm assets, with their relatively stable cash flows, are an excellent fit for investment funds -- complementing the role of project finance banks as capital providers."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol