A year on from securing planning permission for 22MW development, wind farm firm announces £36m in financing

Wind farm developer Novera Energy announced late last week that it has secured up to £36m in project financing and is now set to begin construction on its 22MW wind farm at Glenkerie in southern Scotland during the first half of next year.

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The company, which received planning permission for the site back in September 2008, said that Lloyds and BNP Paribas had teamed up to provide a 15 year debt facility worth up to £36m and that as a result it would now proceed with plans to select contractors for the project. It added that it hoped to have the facility completed in 2011 to coincide with the completion of the grid connection to the site.

A major utility has already been identified as a preferred partner for a Power Purchase Agreement, according to Novera.

The deal represents something of a coup for the firm given recent reports that bank financing for wind energy projects has contracted by between 50 and 80 per cent since the start of the recession. The firm is also in the process of attempting to fend off a hostile takeover bid from private equity backed rival Infinis.

Richard Round, acting chief executive and finance director of Novera, said that the bank’s backing represented an important step in the development of the company’s wind energy portfolio. “In addition to Glenkerie, we have two consented sites and a further four in planning,” he said. “We continue to demonstrate our track record of achieving planning consents, securing finance and developing wind farms.”

The banking sector has come under fire for failing to finance economically viable wind energy projects as they attempt to rebuild their balance sheets. However, Richard Simon-Lewis, senior director for renewable energy at Lloyds, argued that the Novera deal further cemented the company’s commitment to the sector.

His comments were echoed by Nick Gardiner, director for energy and utilities at BNP Paribas Fortis, who also hinted that the bank would be willing to back future Novera developments

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