Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust acquires four Irish solar farms
Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc (LON:ORIT) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of four newly-constructed solar farms located close to Dublin, Ireland.
The solar complex totals 199MW and was acquired from Statkraft Ireland Limited, which developed and constructed the projects under ORIT’s oversight. Following the acquisition, ORIT’s total capacity of operational renewable energy assets reaches 735MW.
The sites generate enough green energy to power around 50,000 homes and will avoid the equivalent of around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
The solar farms were originally subject to a conditional agreement between ORIT and Statkraft Ireland Limited, with completion subject to the sites becoming fully operational. They entered commercial operations in late December 2023, following which ORIT has now completed the acquisition. The total acquisition cost of €160m was in part financed using a €80.6m debt facility provided by Allied Irish Banks and La Banque Postale.
As announced in November 2022*, Microsoft has entered into a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to offtake the electricity produced at the solar farms, securing future revenue for ORIT from the solar complex.
A nearby fifth site totalling 42MW is currently under construction and is expected to become operational during Q3 2024. Under a similar arrangement to the first four sites, ORIT will acquire this project once it becomes operational, expected to be around Q3 2024, and this will be partly funded through an increase to the debt facility by up to €25.8m, which has been pre-agreed with the lenders.
Phil Austin, Chairman of Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc, commented: “We are pleased to have completed this substantial acquisition, which sees ORIT become the owner of Ireland’s largest solar complex which will deliver a substantial amount of green electricity. Projects like this are vital to accelerating the journey to net zero. We have been delighted to partner with Statkraft as a highly experienced developer and Microsoft as the offtaker.”