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ISEA Submission to the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme – Technology Review – DCENR

ISEA-Submission-DCENR-18-09-2015

In 2014, the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA), through its submission for the Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland, made the case for solar energy in Ireland. Now, in ISEA’s submission to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources’ (DCENR) Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, Technology Review Consultation, ISEA has refreshed its recommendations with a greater understanding of the opportunities for the Irish Market.

The key points in this submission are as follows:

  • ISEA believes that between 800 MW and 1,150 MW of installed capacity is realistic by 2020 and 1,900 MW by the end of 2022.
  • The average cost over 25 years to provide a support mechanism for the deployment of 1,900 MW of solar by 2023 is estimated to be €24m per annum.
  • Installation costs for solar farms will fall by 21% between 2015 and 2018, assuming the lifting of the Minimum Import Price on Chinese solar modules.
  • Utility scale (>1 MW) ground-mounted solar farms deployed in 2017 will require revenue/kwh of €0.14 – €0.16, reflecting a level of support equivalent to €0.07 – ­€0.09/kwh.
  • To ensure that the level of support provided to solar accurately reflects conditions in the market, a competitive auction for utility-scale solar is recommended from day one.
  • A Contracts for Difference based support mechanism is recommended with a dedicated budget reserved for Solar until 2020.
  • Roof-mounted schemes should be eligible for a generation tariff based support mechanism (ReFiT or equivalent). The required generation tariff ranges from €0.095/kwh for large commercial rooftops to €0.15/kwh for domestic rooftop schemes in 2017, declining in subsequent years.

extract from the Executive Summary

ISEA Submission to the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme – Technology Review – DCENR

Energising the industry – Renewable Energy Professional Women’s Forum at REFF 2014

The inaugural Renewable Energy – Professional Women’s Forum will take place on September 22. One day before the European Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF Europe).

Dublin City Hall is the venue for the event which will bring together industry leaders to discuss trends and developments in the marketplace during its first panel session while the second session will be focused on insights into their thinking and experience in a relaxed and informal environment.

The Professional Women’s Forum will precede REFF Europe that will be hosted by Dublin for the first time on September 23-24. REFF Europe is the region’s largest and most established event for renewable energy finance and investment.

Renewable Energy, Professional Women’s Forum is a new initiative that provides an outstanding opportunity for women (and men) in the renewable industry to get together, exchange views and share professional as well as personal experiences. It also covers current topics that are not going to be discussed on the REFF conference.

For further information and registration please refer to the event’s website: www.redevelopments.eventbrite.ie

BNRG Renewables commences construction on €25m solar project in UK in partnership with Langmead Group

BNRG Renewables has commenced construction of a 15 megawatt solar PV park on Bilsham Farm in West Sussex, UK. In addition to providing significant carbon reduction, this 85 acre, 15 megawatt park will produce enough electricity to power over 4,950 homes for 30 years.

We are constructing the project through a joint venture with the Langmead Group, a market leader in fresh produce in the UK. While BNRG have been developing and constructing projects of this scale since 2007, this is the first project for the new joint venture company. BNRG Langmead will focus on agri-energy projects leveraging the unique knowledge of both Companies.

Conor Grogan, Project Co-ordinator at BNRG, was on site to see the first pile been driven in mid-July and described it as a real milestone. He went on to say that “getting the project to this stage has taken over 12 months and is a testament to each team member at BNRG and the Langmead Group who developed a superb scheme”.

To date BNRG has developed and constructed solar farms with a combined value of over €170 million. They have completed eleven utility scale solar projects in the UK since 2011. The Company is proud of its 100% track record in securing planning permissions, which has established BNRG as a market leader in the solar sector.

The Langmead Group is a leading producer of fresh produce into UK retailers and food service and has been keen to be involved in the renewable energy space for some time. According to Graham Leech, Chief Operating Officer, ‘The Langmead Group paired up with BNRG last year both to diversify its investments and to strengthen its ongoing commitment to sustainability’. The company farms some 2,500 hectares in West Sussex, Scotland and Suffolk and Spain.
The main construction contractor is Cofely Fabricom a Belgium Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor specialising in solar PV projects. Cofely Fabricom is a wholly owned subsidiary of GDF Suez, the French Utility. This is the first project that they have constructed in the UK and they have worked very closely with the BNRG team to ensure that the project is delivered to exacting standards and in compliance with UK construction grid connection regulations.

Eric Rosier, Managing Director at Cofely Fabricom, stated ‘this is a first of its kind project for us and we are very excited to be doing it in close partnership with BNRG Renewables and the Langmead Group’. The 60,000 solar PV modules required for the project are being supplied by Renesola, a preferred supplier to BNRG.

Director at BNRG, Nick Holman, said the company is excited to see the first BNRG Langmead project being realised and believe it will be the first of many as the Company lines up a number of similar projects across the UK and Europe for construction in 2015 and beyond. Holman placed considerable emphasis on the unique skill sets of the two companies that make a strong foundation to a growing agri-energy business going forward and highlighted the fact that the company would be expanding its product portfolio to include solar solutions for agricultural rooftops such as grain stores and pack houses, alongside other renewable energy technologies.

BNRG recently received planning approval for the first utility scale solar PV plan on the Island of Ireland near Downpatrick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland – BNRG Renewables submit on behalf of the ISEA

On 31 July 2014, BNRG Renewables submitted on behalf of the Irish Solar Energy Association, a consultation document for the Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources of the Irish Government.

All members of the Association had an opportunity to comment and provide input to this Paper.

Irish Solar Energy Association – Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland

€52m of energy projects completed and not stopping there…

Irish solar company BNRG Renewables has announced it has completed construction and commissioning of 30 Megawatts (MW) of Solar PV plants in the UK, 20 MW in Kent and 10 MW on the Isle of Wight. The total value of these two projects is estimated to exceed €52m. However, the company is not stopping there. It is about to sign construction contracts for a 15MW plant, near Chichester, West Sussex valued at €24m.

In relation to the recently constructed plants, the 20 Megawatt project is located at Sycamore Farm, Old Romney in Kent.  Covering 125 acres, it is one of the largest solar parks in the UK and will produce enough electricity to power over 6,600 homes for 30 years. The project is a typical example of BNRG’s community-centric approach to development and represents the culmination of a careful planning process. In addition to conducting in-depth ecological surveys to minimise the impact on the environment, BNRG develop and construct all their projects to benefit local community and ecology.

Hill Farm (10MW) is the largest of BNRG’s three projects on the Isle of Wight.  It is located on a plateau on one of the highest points on the island, thereby minimizing visual impact and maximizing the solar resource. The project will generate enough clean energy locally to power over 3,600 households for the next 30 years.

For both projects the development phase was executed and funded by BNRG. The construction funding was provided by British investment specialist Octopus Investments. The projects were jointly constructed by BNRG and Lightsource Renewable Energy.  Groupotec, a Spanish construction company was lead contractor on the projects

BNRG has a 100% track record in securing planning permissions which has established them as them as a market leader in the solar sector. They have developed and constructed solar projects with a combined value of over €150 million across Europe. The Company typically places these operational assets with institutional investors.

Founder and Director, David Maguire said the company is headquartered in Dublin’s IFSC not just because BNRG’s founders are Irish, but also because there is a pool of development, legal and accounting expertise in the Irish renewable sector on which BNRG can draw. Maguire commented that “Ireland like the UK has huge potential for solar energy, it is unfortunate that we have yet to include solar in renewable energy policy unlike the UK which has seen significant benefit from the roll-out of large scale solar. He advised that with the recent launch of the Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland, there is an opportunity to have solar included in policy and to provide a regulatory framework that allows solar to contribute to the energy mix in Ireland.

BNRG Recently received the planning permissions for the first utility scale solar PV park on the island of Ireland at Bishops Court, Co. Down. “This is a real milestone development as it’s a first for Ireland,” Maguire stated. “There are a number of areas in Ireland that have higher solar resource than many locations in the UK where we have recently developed successful projects”. He went on to emphasize that large scale solar is now established as one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy.

BNRG instrumental in securing European Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) for Dublin

Dublin is to host the European Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) for the first time generating a €600,000 windfall for the local economy with close to 400 senior delegates arriving into the capital. Following a successful campaign from BNRG Renewables with assistance from the Green International Financial Services Centre (GIFSC).

The conference is being hailed as a major opportunity for companies in Ireland’s renewable sector to win investment and create jobs as those attending the conference have some $65 billion earmarked for deployment this year alone.

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources – Pat Rabbitte TD, said: “The Irish Government has indicated that the green economy is a core area of focus for economic recovery and employment creation. Attracting such a major European event to Ireland in favour of other countries shows how Ireland is now recognized as a centre of excellence for renewable energy investment and financing.

BNRG played a pivotal role in securing this event for Dublin which takes places over September 23 and 24 after event organisers Euromoney considered a shortlist of London, Frankfurt and Dublin. This will will be the first time Europe’s largest renewable energy finance and investment event has taken place outside London in more than 15 years.

Dublin Castle is the venue for the two-day conference which will unite investors with project developers and senior executives from across the renewable energy and technology sectors this autumn. The majority of delegates are executive level and decision makers in the renewable energy, asset management and investment communities and speakers are industry leaders from around the globe but with a particular interest in renewable energy finance and asset management in Europe.

In their second year as Silver Sponsors to the event, BNRG’s Director David Maguire stated: “We are delighted to be associated, once again, with the leading renewable energy finance event in Europe. This is great news for Ireland and a great opportunity to have close to 400 key decision makers from the global industry right here in Dublin.

L to R: David Guest (Chairman of the GIFSC), David Maguire (Founder and CEO of BNRG Renewables)<br />and Pat Rabbitte TD - Minister for Communications, Energy &amp; Natural Resources
L to R: David Guest (Chairman of the GIFSC), David Maguire (Founder and CEO of BNRG Renewables) and Pat Rabbitte TD – Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources

“BNRG, a regular contributor to the event over the years, has been working on attracting REFF to move to Dublin since September 2013 and thanks to  the assistance of the GIFSC, Ireland has finally secured this event.”

Henry Healy-Hutchinson, CEO of Euromoney, said: “It is with great pride – after 15 years in London – that we move REFF-Europe to Dublin for September 2014.  This is testament  to the dynamism of the renewable energy industry in Dublin. We undertook a poll of our clients and the majority – many from continental Europe – asked us to move to Dublin and we are confident that the event will be a massive success this year!”

First utility scale solar farm on the island of Ireland

Planning permission has been granted for the first utility or large scale solar farm on the island of Ireland.

The 5.1 megawatt (MW) facility, being developed by BNRG Northern Power, will be located in East Down on the outskirts of Downpatrick in Northern Ireland and will deliver an investment of €7.6 million and support around 50 jobs during construction and up to five long-term employment opportunities.

bnrg_project-post

David Maguire, Founder and Director of BNRG said that “The Company was delighted to become the first company to gain planning permission for a solar farm of this scale in Northern Ireland and indeed on the island of Ireland.” The company has revealed it has a committed pipeline of similar projects in East Down which would bring its initial combined investment to circa €44 million.

According to Sean McMullan, Senior Project Manager the new photovoltaic (PV) park will be capable of generating sufficient electricity to power 1500 homes every year during its 30 years proposed life-span. It will take just three months to construct the 20,300 ground-mounted PV panels and related equipment for the 27-acre solar farm. The height of the panels above ground level will not exceed 2.5 meters thus causing no visual impact. It is expected that the project will actually enhance biodiversity on the site which is a benefit of solar power over other forms of power generation.

Mr McMullan said: “There are currently only around five megawatts solar energy produced in Northern Ireland, from mainly small-scale roof-mounted panels. We believe there is considerable potential for large-scale solar generation here, particularly as a genuine alternative to other forms of renewable energy generation such as wind. This new project will more than double the total installed solar power capacity in Northern Ireland”.

Solar PV benefits from being easy to install, enjoys widespread public support and has a major role in connecting individuals, communities and businesses. In addition to supporting economic regeneration it also helps sustain our environment and reduce carbon emissions. The granting of approval for this scheme is great news for Northern Ireland.

bnrg-np-250

For more information contact:

Contact: Bernadett Veress, Project Assistant

email: bveress@bnrg.ie, tel.: +353 1 7917882

BNRG Renewables Limited

Dublin Exchange Building, I.F.S.C., Mayor Street, Dublin 1, IRELAND
t. +353 1 7917882

BNRG Renewables

BNRG Northern Power, a BNRG Group company is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNRG Renewables based in Dublin’s IFSC, BNRG Renewables is one of the fastest growing solar developers in Europe with almost 65 MWs of capacity developed and constructed in the last twelve months in the UK alone. The company specialises in large, utility scale, solar energy projects and is currently developing a UK pipeline of over 80 megawatts for 2014/2015. To date, BNRG has developed and constructed over €130 million worth of utility projects across Europe.

BNRG Renewables is an international Renewable Energy development group founded in 2007. Based in Dublin, the company has projects under development in in seven countries across three continents. BNRG specialises in developing utility-scale solar photo-voltaic (PV) plants. The power plants are zero carbon emission, helping to lower overall carbon emissions whilst offering investors long term stable and attractive financial yields.

BNRG & Abundance Generation launch first inflation-linked renewable energy investment

Now even small investors can get inflation protection while supporting renewable energy and the real economy

  • Irish based solar renewable energy developer BNRG Renewables, through UK based crowdfunding platform Abundance, and offers the first renewable energy investment in the UK with returns directly linked to RPI.  Minimum investment is just £5 and can be held for as long as 20 years, with your capital returned in equal instalments over this term, or traded earlier.
  • While BNRG have previously successfully funded one of their solar developments through Abundance, this is their first project in which Irish resident investors can invest.
  • This latest offering is for BNRG Gorse – a solar energy project seeking £730,000 to install two 249kW ground-mounted solar arrays on two sites in Kent, both about to go into construction
  • This is the second project offered by BNRG Renewables through Abundance, the first being BNRG Hoo Solar which has consistently done well and is already paying above its projected return to investors. 

Dublin, 10th December 2013 – Abundance Generation, the FCA-regulated democratic finance platform, today launches the first renewable energy project with returns linked directly to RPI. Investors with as little as £5 to spare will be able to enjoy ongoing, long term protection of their money from erosion by inflation, with an additional return on top, while supporting the real economy and renewable energy development in this country.

The project – BNRG Gorse – will see the installation of two 249kW ground mounted solar arrays with the possibility of a third and will make annual payments to investors made up of capital, an amount reflecting the impact of the preceding December’s inflation rate according to the RPI and a top-up amount of interest of 1% that will also increase each year in line with the RPI.

David Maguire, co-founder and director of BNRG Renewables said:

“We are very excited to launch the funding of the BNRG Gorse solar project through an Abundance debenture, our second such debenture offering and the very first in which Irish investors can also invest. This debenture is a great way to diversify our funding base, recycle our capital into further solar developments and deliver on our belief that the public should be able to invest directly into renewable assets and become stakeholders in the future of clean renewable energy”

Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint Managing Director of Abundance Generation said:

With literally hundreds of billions of pounds of people’s savings in deposit accounts paying less than inflation, it is tragic to think this hard-earned money is just sitting there, being eaten alive by inflation. Abundance is committed to providing radically better solutions for people who are watching their savings shrink and their investments go up and down like yo-yos”

BNRG Gorse is seeking up to £730,000 to refinance the installation of two 249kW sites in Kent and £1.13m if they can build a third on the Isle of Wight, from people with as little as £5 to invest. Full planning permission has already been granted for all three sites and construction starts this month for the first two.

This is the second project from BNRG Renewables offered through Abundance, with the first – BNRG Hoo Solar – also in Kent, proving a great success already.  BNRG raised its full target of £385,000 for Hoo Solar back in March 2013 to refinance an existing 249 kW solar installation, and in September paid its first cash return to investors at 8.4% over the amount it was projected to.

Investment in projects offered by Abundance is made through the purchase of Debentures in the project – official IOUs that commit to pay inflation-linked returns on top of the original capital.  Returns will be paid in single or twice yearly payments over the term of the project (depending on the project), although investors wishing to cash in early can sell their holdings on to others via the Abundance website.

Capital is at risk and returns are variable.  Investments are long term and not readily realisable.

For further information or assistance, please contact: 

Martin Campbell on +44 7802 634 695 or martin@beaconstrategic.com

Bernadett Veress on +353 1 791 7882 or bveress@bnrg.ie

About Abundance Generation

Abundance is the FCA-regulated finance platform allowing small investors to invest directly in UK renewable energy projects with as little as £5. This new form of ‘democratic finance’ – building on the success of peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and other forms of ‘people-powered finance’ – opens the door for ordinary people to support and participate in the benefits of renewable energy.

Debenture

The Abundance debenture is a type of bond as commonly used by large companies to borrow money and is their first to offer a return linked to inflation. Abundance is the first financial service to use debentures to enable small investors to fund renewable energy projects in the UK.

Effective rates of return will vary across the different projects, and over time in each project.

Abundance and Abundance Generation are trading names of Abundance NRG Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (no. 525432).

 

Abundance Generation

BNRG Gorse Crowd Funded investment  Link

BNRG Gorse Crowd Funded Project Statistic Counter

BNRG Renewables – Winner at the Solar Power Portal Awards

The winners of the Solar Power Portal Awards were announced last Tuesday. BNRG Hoo Solar by BNRG Renewables and Abundance Generation received the award for the “Most innovative marketing campaign”. Nick Holman, a newly appointed Director at BNRG received the award with Louise Wilson of Abundance Generation.

UK’s leading renewable energy resource Solar Power Portal launched the Awards this year to recognise the best in solar in the UK. Focusing on all areas of the solar industry, the purpose of the awards is to recognise and celebrate good practice, professionalism, quality, safety and innovation, with the aim of being a marker of the brightest and best that UK solar has to offer.

BNRG Renewables developed the project, a 250kW groundmounted solar installation, at Hoo Farm in Kent in July 2012. After operating for a period of six months, BNRG turned to Abundance Generation, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, to help it refinance the project by issuing debentures to the general public in return for a share of the profits. This is the first project of its type ever to be funded by crowdfunding.

The judges commented that the campaign for Hoo Solar by BNRG Renewables and Abundance Generation winner of the most innovative marketing category demonstrated “an appeal not just for small investors” looking for a new venture, but also helped heighten awareness as to what solar is and can do for a community.

Hoo FarmHoo Farm is located at Monkston Road in Kent and it is one of the smaller sites developed by BNRG in UK. Constructed in July 2012 the project represents an excellent example of the high quality of build and ‘best-in-class’ implementation that BNRG has become known for. In 2013 Hoo Farm has generated a return to investors in excess of expectations due to its remarkably high performance ratio. As well as its recognition as part of these awards, the project has gained the interest of the World Bank as an innovative solution for funding renewable energy projects where traditional banking may be unavailable. The average investment was £1,000, but can be as little as £5.

On the back of the success of Hoo Solar, BNRG are proposing to use this crowdfunding platform to raise finance for a number of larger UK projects that they intend to hold on their balance sheet. Nick Holman stated that ‘BNRG is delighted to receive this award, it’s a testament to the innovative way in which BNRG continues to produce best in class projects’.

Irish solar company BNRG Renewables is one of the fastest growing solar developers in Europe with almost 40 megawatts of capacity developed in the UK alone during 2013. The company specialises in large, utility scale, solar energy projects and is currently developing a UK pipeline of over 80 megawatts for 2014. To date, BNRG has developed and constructed over €150 million worth of utility projects across Europe.

Capital is at risk and returns are variable. Investments are long term and not readily realisable.

Link to article at Solar Power Portal published 0n the 9th of October 2013

Solar Power Portal Awards Spotlight for the award in 2013

BNRG to sell bundled UK solar projects in 120MW pipeline to yield investors

In Interview:  Irish photo voltaic project developer BNRG Renewables will bundle solar assets in its UK pipeline of up to 120MW to attract institutional funding, and retain some assets on balance sheet, co-founder David Maguire and Director Nick Holman told Clean Energy Pipeline.

BNRG’s UK project pipeline stands at between 80MW and 120MW of solar projects that could potentially be built over the next 18 months to two years.

“We need to take a portfolio approach where we have a bundle of projects and then go to the funders,” Holman said on the side lines of a recent conference in London.

Aside from divesting assets to yield investors, BNRG aims to raise debt to finance a share of the portfolio that it plans to retain and subsequently refinance on balance sheet.

“We have an appetite to hold onto a lot of projects,” said Maguire. “We will be holding quite a chunk ourselves on balance sheet, and we will bring in a debt provider for those projects. We may refinance those projects on balance sheet two years later.”

Unlevered construction equity and refinancing are growing alternatives to competitive, expensive and scarcely available traditional project finance, Maguire explained.

“We have effectively seen the disappearance of traditional project finance, which is how we would traditionally finance projects and have done in the past,” he said. “We’re seeing 100% construction equity and unlevered going forward, and then refinancing, because the banks can’t keep pace with the activity.

“At the same time, we’re starting to see a slight shift in that more banks are entering the market actively now and funding projects. The banks are starting to open for business again.”

The appetite for operational solar assets among funds and other yield investors that are comfortable with the technology still remains strong, according to Maguire.

“The level of interest in acquiring operational assets is huge; there’s far more funds chasing the number than there are number of good quality projects,” he said. “From that perspective, funding is not the challenge it used to be. We tend to deal with yield investors or institutional investors who have experience of the Renewables Obligation Certificate regime and are comfortable with solar.”

The rates secured for large-scale renewable energy projects under the UK ROC regime until its scheduled expiry in 2017, when it will be replaced by feed-in tariffs with contracts for difference, provide visibility for projects, according to Holman. Ground-mounted solar PV projects are guaranteed 1.4 ROCs per megawatt-hour for 2014 to 2015.

“We have moved away from a cliff edge from where we needed to have everything developed by March 31st or the project doesn’t become viable to a pipeline where we’ll have regular connections every quarter,” Holman said.

“So we can go to a funder and say we have 40MW here, of which 30MW is confirmed and 10MW is highly probable, but we may not be able to show them what we’ve got going on in the fourth quarter.”

BNRG may also finance some smaller UK projects through crowd funding after the BNRG Hoo Solar plc project became the first installation to be funded by crowd funding platform Abundance Generation.

“We’re exploring ramping that up to larger scale projects” said Maguire.

Holman added: “The end investor gets a good return. It’s distributed risk. We get attractive funding relatively quickly.  As a retail investor you are getting 6% return for very low risk.”

Investors interested in BNRG’s solar projects should contact David Maguire, co-founder and Director, at dmaguire@bnrg.ie.

David Maguire and Nick  Holman was in interview with reporter, Jessica Mills-Davies of Clear Energy Pipeline

Published on Clear Energy Pipeline website 10th of October 2013

The reporter, Jessica Mills-Davies, can be reached at jessica.millsdavies@vbresearch.com

 

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