Garrymore Windfarm Generating Interest
HLB McKeogh Gallagher Ryan has announced an EIIS fundraising for Garrymore Windfarm in Donegal.
“This wind farm represents another good investment opportunity for investors as the promoters already have a grid connection agreement in place,” said Mary McKeogh, Tax Partner with HLB McKeogh Gallagher Ryan.
Garrymore wind farm is located in the townlands of Garrymore and Glenally, near Milford in Co Donegal. The project has a projected cost of €13 million and comprises eight Enercon E44 turbines and one Enercon E70 turbine with a capacity of 9.5 megawatts.
“The project is well advanced with full planning permission and leases in place with the landowners,” said McKeogh.
“A Section 5 declaration has been obtained from Donegal County Council for the power line; site access reports are completed; pitch points are acquired; all wayleaves are obtained and the promoters are currently negotiating their power purchase agreement.”
The promoters, Michael Meehan and Patrick Sweeney, have appointed an expert team of consultants to cover the technical, legal, financial and regulatory aspects of the project.
“Michael Meehan is a principal of the accountancy firm Friel Meehan & Associates and is very experienced in the wind energy sector, providing tax advice to and structuring various wind farm projects,” said McKeogh.
“Patrick Sweeney brings 15 years of experience of working with ESB on projects of this nature,” she said.
“They are offering a return of €1.15 for every €1 invested, on top of the tax relief, so the scheme is projected to generate a return on investment for individual investors (including the income tax saved based on current tax legislation) of 9.95 per cent per annum (before capital gains tax).”
Garrymore wind farm provides a five-year investment term so investors can expect their money back in 2022.
“The promoters have also committed to meeting the EIIS employment creation criteria so investors will receive the full amount of tax relief,” said McKeogh.
HLB McKeogh Gallagher Ryan has been raising EIIS investment funds for wind farm projects since the EII scheme was introduced.
“Year on year we are seeing increased interest from investors in this type of EIIS investment. In 2015 we filled two EIIS fundraisings in two wind farm projects and expect 2016 to be the same,” said McKeogh.
“Wind farms are a relatively straightforward business model that investors can understand and reassure themselves about a company’s ability to repay.”
She said the investment was well structured so the rights of EIIS investors were protected.
“There is a clear exit plan (via a put and call option agreement) so investors can see how their money is extracted after the five-year investment term,” said McKeogh.
“By their nature EIIS investments must have an element of risk – they cannot be capital guaranteed – but we certainly find some investors have a low risk appetite and wind farms tend to suit the typical EIIS investor risk profile.”
This article appeared in the print issue of the Sunday Business Post on 20 November 2016.