Financing first for Airtricity's wind farm portfolio
1 January 2006
Irish wind energy developer and retailer Airtricity has secured a EUR 40 million debt facility to finance its wind farm portfolio in Ireland, the UK and the US over the coming years. The deal, closed with Barclays Capital, delivers an immediate draw-down of EUR 30 million, a further EUR 10 million for the company's next wind farm and a template for funding future wind farms from the facility. Airtricity says the deal deepens its access to pools of capital for its fast expanding build program, in addition to its project finance sources. Airtricity's Fintan Whelan says it represents a first for the renewables sector. "As a private, non-rated company we have for the first time been able to raise bank finance based exclusively on the cash flows of our projects, rather than our funding being capped at around 85% of project cost," he says. "Our operating wind farms pay dividends, but rather than wait for that cash to come in over time, we are borrowing against it now to accelerate our investment in future wind farms. The facility is insulated from the performance of any one project because the borrowing is against the consolidated cash flows of all our operating wind farms."
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