News & Media
Keep up with Glennmont Partners’ latest transactions’, new hires and success stories
The decarbonised power sector – further value from bioenergy?
Date: September 11, 2017
As I write we have just received the results of the Contracts for Difference (CFD) auction round for sustainable energy projects and it is clear that offshore wind projects have gained a significant amount of support for the new generation of deeper water, larger generation stations. By 2023 3.2GW of new generation capacity will be operating off the shores of the UK. What has also gained attention in this morning’s press is that the clearing price, at which the auction for this capacity was won, is a mere £57.50/MWh for delivery in 2022/23. This is a remarkable feat for an industry that only a few years ago was considered by many to be an expensive folly.
This is great news for the UK energy industry and for the offshore construction industry in general and it ensures an ongoing effective decarbonisation of the UK power portfolio. But alongside the 3.2GW of offshore wind is also a further 64MW of waste to energy utilising Advanced Conversation Technologies and 86MW of dedicated biomass with chp (combined heat and power). The CFD round supports projects from Pot 2 – the ‘less established’ technologies which includes these technologies along with Anaerobic Digestion (AD). While the progress of development of offshore wind is truly remarkable, it is also worth noting the opportunity for economic and social development presented by these thermal technologies.
Bioenergy in all of its forms is the only renewable energy source currently economically available in the UK that can provide reliable base load power. Variable sources of power production can create a need for balancing power to be provided to the grid at considerable expense and technical complexity. This is one of the main criticisms of renewable power picked on by critics as a reason to doubt its effectiveness and economic viability. Bioenergy on the other hand is entirely schedulable and can itself be used to balance the network. Further, bioenergy is not limited to locations where natural sources of power such as wind-, solar-, or hydro-energy exist. Biomass is an energy carrier in the same way that coal is and power can be provided where it is wanted and stored until it is wanted. This makes bioenergy ideal for on-site generation providing off grid energy solutions for energy intensive users. This is particularly the case when CHP solutions can be offered, providing both heat and power to customers.
Bioenergy feeds numerous value chains: the production and procurement of fuel is an industry in itself, creating economic value and wealth. Bioenergy is providing a market for waste wood at a time when the paper and pulp industries are in decline. Forestry needs management if it is to be an effective means of sequestering carbon. Derelict, unmanaged woodlands may produce as much greenhouse gases and they absorb, worse still, rotting forestry may produce complex hydrocarbons such as methane gas, a much worse greenhouse gas than CO2, whereas well managed, worked forests absorb carbon effectively balancing the use of biomass in energy production. The use of agricultural residues provides valuable additional income streams for farming, an industry that is continually under economic pressure in global markets and even more so in the UK now we are leaving the EU.
Bioenergy-based power production creates far greater sources of employment than variable sources of sustainable power particularly in the operational phase. A 40MW biomass power plant will provide direct employment for 30 to 40 staff on site working in shifts and support hundreds more indirectly in service industries and fuel production.
There is a growing consensus for the need of a ‘Circular Economy’, an initiative to provide sustainability to local and national economies, ensuring that resources are used and reused effectively. Bioenergy fits perfectly within the circle of sustainability, adding value to end-of-life materials, reducing the uptake of virgin materials and reducing waste. The UK, for instance, has been exporting significant tonnages of refuse-derived fuel to continental Europe to avoid landfilling at home. This material has clear economic value. It is somewhat ironic that this trade is also now uncertain given the ongoing Brexit trade discussions, yet it can create a valuable source of energy in the UK as a clear manifestation of the Circular Economy.
A modern bioenergy plant is a clean, wealth creating, employment providing source of energy that supports local industry and national power systems while contributing to the mitigation of climate change and reducing waste. There is no doubt that, while the CFD round will undoubtedly spell good news for the offshore wind industry, investors, policy makers and the wider sector may find advantage paid more attention to the added value and opportunities for wealth generation of bioenergy.
By Peter Dickson, Technical Partner at Glennmont Partners.
Glennmont Partners Completes Refinancing of Sleaford Biomass Plant for £150m
Date: August 23, 2017
Glennmont Partners has successfully completed the refinancing of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant on behalf of its dedicated clean energy fund, Glennmont Clean Energy Fund Europe I, as a part of a programme of realisations of value from the Fund. Glennmont Partners is one of Europe’s largest fund managers focusing exclusively on investment in clean energy infrastructure. Glennmont raises long-term capital to invest in alternative power generation projects including wind farms, biomass power stations, solar parks and small-scale hydro power plants. The carefully selected, risk managed investments deliver sustained performance and predictable returns over periods of 10 years or more.
Sleaford REP is a 40MWe straw-fired biomass plant located in Lincolnshire, UK. The plant has been in operation since 2014 and is being operated by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC). The plant benefits from 2 ROCs under the UK renewable energy regime as “good quality CHP plant”, providing free heat to the local community under long term offtake contracts. The proceeds from the refinancing repaid a project financing, and contributed to directly creating value for investors.
The £150m financing has been placed to a large European institutional investor and is the largest institutional-only financing in the UK biomass sector to date. Deutsche Bank acted as sole lead Arranger, Agent, Security Trustee and Account Bank for the transaction.
Joost Bergsma, CEO of Glennmont Partners, said: “Glennmont is delighted to be completing one of the largest biomass transactions of 2017 for £150m. This transaction further highlights that biomass is a highly efficient renewable energy technology capable of attracting significant amounts of long term, competitive institutional capital. The refinancing complements our strategy of building portfolios of renewable projects diversified by both geography and technology in order to provide predictable returns to investors. The energy market is as diverse as it has ever been with new technologies and new market structures offering investors a wide range of opportunities to invest in clean energy.”
Michael Volkermann, Head of Infrastructure & Energy at Deutsche Bank said ““We are delighted to build on our close relationship with Glennmont Partners by together delivering this pathfinder refinancing transaction for the UK biomass industry and placing it with a leading European infrastructure debt investor.”
Beyond the tipping point
Date: August 3, 2017
For a Fund Manager, especially one with a specialist fund that is aligned with a specific world view, it is encouraging to see media reports that resonate with the pitch, in recent months we have not only had a resonance but a crescendo of reports supporting the acceleration of sustainability in the clean energy sector. We were delighted to comment in the recent article by Business Journalist, Jillian Ambrose in the UK Sunday Telegraph on 30th July, The electric jolt that roused Big Oil and we note that it corresponds to a growing number of complementary reports.
For a number of years independent commentators have been charting an exponential increase in flows of capital and investment in sustainable energy and a corresponding decrease in investment in the conventional power sector. In our own investor meetings we are increasingly hearing about fears of stranded assets in the coal, oil and nuclear sectors. We agree with the Telegraph that it is hard to identify the tipping point, but given the influence of institutional capital in the power sector it probably reached that point when the large global institutions started to decarbonize their portfolios.
So where are the opportunities for investment after the tipping point? Primarily they will exist where they existed before – the restrictions to investment into utility scale renewables are lifting. In the past, we used to estimate how much capacity of variable generation could be accommodated by a network before it became unstable. Grid stability is now enhanced by demand side response technologies and new system management techniques. Meanwhile new technologies, management techniques and responsive commercial arrangements are creating a whole new asset class while facilitating large flows of capital into further deployment of renewable energy.
Equally energy storage is rapidly reducing in cost opening up a whole new technology class with exciting prospects for investors. The market is working hard to catch up with the technology. It is still not clear what an investable project utilizing storage will look like. The simple answer would be to estimate returns based on the arbitrage between peak and trough prices, but then the rapid success of the asset class is likely to self-cannibalize the value proposition. Capacity contracts are promising but many institutional investors may prefer longer term clarity on income than currently offered. In any case, given the demand for investable solutions and the volumes of capital available for investing, it seems clear that the rapid development of the technology will likely be matched by the equally rapid development of the commercial structures for projects.
Fund Managers must work hard to remain at the fore of this market and continue to create business opportunities for investors. While the future for conventional renewable energy investment funds is more secure than ever, investors may also seek access to the new system-based opportunities and take their returns from a wide range of technologies and markets. In the world beyond the tipping point of interest in sustainable energy and energy systems, the exponential growth of investment into the new energy space is likely to continue unabated.
Glennmont Partners Consolidates Its Leading Presence in the Italian Onshore Wind Market
Date: July 21, 2017
Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest clean energy investment specialists, has completed its acquisition of a 10 MW operating wind farm located in Central Italy. The acquisition takes Glennmont’s overall onshore wind portfolio to 550 MW and complements Glennmont’s strategy of building portfolios of renewable projects diversified by both geography and technology in order to provide predictable returns to investors. The wind farm is powered by five Gamesa G90 turbines and benefits from a 15 year feed in tariff, until 2027.
Francesco Cacciabue, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Glennmont Partners, said: “This acquisition reinforces Glennmont’s track record of acquiring quality assets in Italy, a core market for us. We look forward to exploring further opportunities in the country.”
Claudio Vescovo, Investment Director of Glennmont Partners, said: “We are excited to close this transaction, which brings our Italian onshore wind portfolio to over 345 MW.”
Glennmont Partners holds 10th Clean Energy Seminar 2017 in Chantilly
Date: June 2, 2017
On May 15th and 16th 2017, in Chantilly, France, Glennmont Partners brought together key institutional investors and a range of renewable energy thought leaders to reflect, discuss and analyse the trends that are shaping our industry and promoting investment to the sector for its tenth annual seminar. The Glennmont team were joined by Former European Commissioner for Climate Change and Minister for the Environment of Denmark, Mrs Connie Hedegaard; CEO and President of leading technical advisor KiloWattSol, Mr Xavier Daval; Director of Financial Engineering at global sustainable power developer, Voltalia, Mr Olivier Cormarie; and Head of Power and Renewables at leading lending bank, Natixis, Mr Ranjan Moulik. All the presenters were in agreement that:
• Clean energy growth has passed an inflection point and is now accelerating. Carbon reduction is seen as good for business
• Solar still has very significant growth potential. New research that indicated that the world’s continents contain at least 3 times more solar power than is needed by the inhabiting populations
• Auction systems are now used globally to set Feed In Tariff prices. Investors and developers will need to work more closely together and form partnerships to win auctions
• Offshore wind is a maturing technology with global deployment set to triple within 2020. The sector has seen a maturing and consolidation of a solid value chain with financially sound counter-parties
Mrs Connie Hedegaard, Former European Commissioner for Climate Action and former Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Denmark, addressed Glennmont’s guests.
Connie highlighted that clean energy growth has passed an inflection point and is now accelerating. Carbon reduction is seen as good for business and adopted by a wide spectrum of corporates. Irrespective of President Trump’s position on the Paris agreement – China has already said that it will continue the Treaty’s obligations. Carbon reduction is no longer only top down driven by politicians but by market forces as costs are reduced and the technology advances. Over the next years – electric vehicles will become the norm further reducing carbon emissions. Also, progress will be made on with energy efficiency and better European inter connections. Energy and carbon reduction are more and more co-ordinated on a European level which will help growth.
Xavier Daval – CEO of KiloWattSol – a leading technical adviser – spoke passionately about the growth of solar. Over a period of just ten 10 years solar demonstrated unprecedented growth: already 300GW has been installed, panel efficiency has increased by more than 30% and costs have down by 99%.
Solar still has very significant growth potential. New research that indicated that the world’s continents contain at least 3 times more solar power than is needed by the inhabiting populations on each continent. Smarter systems and advances in technology and further cost reductions will propel solar growth forward.
The distributed nature of solar, advances in smaller battery systems and ample availability of irradiation, position solar optimally for growth.
Olivier Cormarie – a director at Voltalia a leading global developer – gave an update on the latest development of Feed In Tariffs (“FIT”). Most countries now use an auction system to set FITs. This will ensure market pricing for new projects. Voltalia believes that under the auction system – investors and developers will need to work more closely together and form partnerships. These partnerships will raise a new set of questions about sharing of control and what happens when bids are not successful.
Ranjan Moulik – Natixis’ Managing Director, of Power and renewables gave a finance perspective on off shore wind.
Offshore wind is a maturing technology with global deployment set to triple within 2020. Cost reductions targets have been exceeded way ahead of schedule. It offers multiple comparative advantages such as 45% load factors which are significantly higher than onshore wind and solar PV. The development of the Offshore Wind Industry has enabled the maturing and consolidation of a solid value chain with financially sound counterparties.
The seminar concluded with a presentation from Enercon’s plant manager, Thibaut Labonde and a tour of Enercon’s Wind concrete tower Factory in Longueil Sainte Marie.
Thibaut’s presentation highlighted new technology already in use in wind turbine and tower manufacturing. Concrete towers can be taller than traditional steel towers. They can be more modular and are thus easier to transport to more challenging sites at lower cost.
Enercon uses a combination of steel and concrete component to build a next generation of towers which can go as high as 160 meters.
After the presentation, guests were permitted to tour the factory and witnessed in great detail the manufacturing process of various concrete towers and reinforcement materials used at each stage.
UK Clean Energy Investment Seminar – Current Trends in Infrastructure Investing
Date: April 27, 2017
On 26th April 2017, in London at the House of Commons, Glennmont Partners in conjunction with Alex Cunningham MP, the Shadow Pensions Minister, brought together key Government pensions policy makers, pension fund portfolio managers, and investment advisors, to discuss opportunities for Pension Funds to invest in the UK and in European energy industries.
The following key observations were noted:
• The success of the deployment of renewable energy over the past decade and a half has markedly reduced carbon emissions and reduced the wholesale cost of power
• Market responses to this offer new opportunities for investment, and facilitate further investment in renewable energy
• The transfer of assets from utilities to institutional investors will continue to allow strategic investors to focus on innovation, while Pensions Funds benefit from the long-term yield of the operating assets.
For more on our UK Clean Energy Investment Seminar, please click here.
Glennmont Off-Shore Wind Seminar – Sustainable Infra Investment Opportunity Set
Date: April 10, 2017
On the 30 March Glennmont brought together a group of the leading infrastructure investors from the Netherlands and surrounding countries to discuss the recent trends and developments in offshore wind investing. The message was clear from all parties that offshore wind is expanding and offering great opportunity for investment; that risks are becoming more recognised and quantifiable and the construction and operations companies are more able to manage the technical challenges of this huge sector.
The keynote presentation was made by Maria van der Hoeven, the former Environment Minister of the Netherlands and Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. Maria is currently senior associate fellow at Clingendael International Energy Program (CIEP). She gave a strong endorsement of the prospects for offshore wind power generation in the current climate, noting that the momentum achieved by the decarbonisation of the power generation sector makes it less prone to regulatory impact, especially given the reducing cost of production of power from renewable sources. She drew the attention of the delegates to the strong and continuing support for the sector from both individual European Governments as well as the European Union.
Maria was followed to the podium by Bart Heijermans, the CEO of DeepOcean Group, the specialist offshore engineering company who specialise in cable laying and connection infrastructure. Bart was able to bring the perspective of one who has spent a large part of his career in offshore engineering and pointed out that the repetitive nature of offshore wind power made it much less risky and more predictable as a construction project than offshore oil and gas construction. Bart commented that improved management, access and construction techniques have helped to lower the cost of production and look likely to continue to do so.
Finally we welcomed Max ter Linden, Managing Director of Mergers and Acquisitions at ABN AMRO who spoke about the strong appetite among lending banks to offer project finance for offshore wind projects with tenors up to 15 years. Max reported that the banks have been reassured by the higher levels of understanding of the risks associated with construction and operation offshore and by the greater capacity for managing them among the specialist construction and operations companies.
Glennmont Partners offer investors the opportunity to play a part in this rapidly maturing industry through their funds managed by their technically expert investment and asset management teams.
Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant welcomes Sleaford’s new MP
Date: March 21, 2017
Dr Caroline Johnson, the new MP for Sleaford & North Hykeham, visited the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant on Friday, March 17th. The visit was an opportunity for Dr Johnson to see how the power station generates clean electricity for local homes and businesses and meet the teams who own and operate the power station.
During her visit, Dr Johnson was briefed about how straw (the main fuel for the plant) is procured, stored and delivered to the plant and was told about the wide-ranging support that the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant has given to community organisations and projects since it entered operation in 2014. One of the main contributions has been the provision of free heat to the Sleaford swimming pool, the town’s football club and indoor bowls club, the William Alvey Primary School and the main office of North Kesteven District Council, and most recently financial support to upgrade broadband connectivity in Kirkby-la-Thorpe.
Peter Dickson, a director of Glennmont Partners, the owners of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant, hosted Dr Johnson with Matthew Igoe, the plant manager. Peter said: “We were delighted to welcome Caroline to the Sleaford plant and explain how it operates, how we work with the farming community and how we have supported the local area through the Sleaford Community Fund.”
Dr Caroline Johnson MP said: “It was my first visit to the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant; it was fascinating to see how electricity is produced from straw that is mainly sourced from farms in the region. I was also impressed by the level of support that Glennmont Partners and the Sleaford plant have given to local community projects, large and small – in Sleaford and Kirkby-la-Thorpe. All told, it was a most interesting visit.”
Major renewables fund keen on Swedish wind turbines
Date: January 30, 2017
As published in
Until now, low electricity prices in the Nordics have kept Glennmont Partners from investing in the region. But price improvements now make Sweden an attractive market, according to the fund.
In Denmark, you still have to look hard to find a new onshore wind turbine, but in the neighboring country of Sweden, it is the opposite. A long line of projects are either under construction or headed in that direction in Sweden – not least because of favorable policies in the area and a Nordic electricity price which has started to rise after hovering at a record low.
This development has been noticed by London-based equity fund Glennmont Partners, which has otherwise invested in green projects solely in the UK and southern Europe thus far.
“We consider Sweden an exciting market, both as a place to raise capital and a place to invest in wind. The Swedish wind market offers interesting projects under a very stable regime. Of course, the prices in Nordpool have made life difficult for Swedish projects in recent years, and if the prices had not been so low, we probably would have already entered the Swedish market. But now we see improvement and I would deem it very likely that within a not-far-off future, we will invest in our first projects in Sweden,” says Peter Dickson, founding partner and technical director of Glennmont Partners.
As such, Glennmont is on the same path as Danish pension fund Sampension, which invested in several onshore wind farms in Sweden and Germany last October in a DKK 1.4 billion investment (EUR 188 million), justified on the basis of a stable regime and attractive framework conditions.
Sweden’s good conditions – in part in Finland and Norway as well – were also reflected last year in several wind turbine orders. Not least Denmark’s Vestas was successful with orders in Sweden, Norway, and Finland totaling more than 1.5 GW.
Peter Dickson is not surprised that onshore turbines are doing well.
“We’re very close to seeing onshore turbines which are now competitive without support. It’s only a matter of time. We will soon see this here in the UK, but we also eye exciting opportunities in, for example, Norway and Sweden. The competition here is good, there are many exciting projects, and these are very stable and predictable regimes,” says Dickson.
Glennmont Partners is working on launching a third fund in the foreseeable future. As to how big the fund will be, the company is not yet ready to talk about.
You can read the full article here: Energy Watch EU
Equity fund: Green has become a guarantee – not a risk
As published in
Peter Dickson is interviewed by SØREN SPRINGBORG for Energy Watch EU
INTERVIEW: Just a few years ago, capital fund Glennmont Partners was sold on the idea that investments in sustainable energy were a safe bet. Today, investors are lining up, while conventional energy is seen as a direct road to losses
The view of London’s financial district from Glennmont Partners’ meeting room on the 12th floor does not disappoint. Meanwhile, the light, elegant furniture, the polished conference table, and the freshly-brewed cappuccino brought in by the assistant could just as easily make up the interiors at Goldman Sachs, HSBC, or Deutsche Bank.
Although, on the surface, Glennmont Partners is visibly an equity fund, there is still something different about this fund. At Glennmont Partners, which originally emerged from French major bank BNP Paribas but today is completely independent, the focus is to invest exclusively within renewable energy. Furthermore, the fund invests as an active development partner. That means that besides a team of financial experts, there is also a large team of technical experts employed to assess and manage the projects, in which the fund has invested approximately EUR 1 billion.
The fund has overwhelmingly invested in the UK and Southern Europe, while the largest investment areas have been solar power and wind turbines, combined with a little biomass in the UK. It is a geographically and technically-narrow investment profile. But one which has been closely followed, says Peter Dickson, founding partner and technical director of Glennmont Partners.
“Our investors expect that we are conservative. Until now, the technologies that have managed to get on the list have been onshore wind, solar energy, fuel plants based on biomass, and small hydro plants. These technologies are relatively cheap, and they have been in operation for a long time, there is a history, you can get reasonable guarantees, and there is a service unit in place. The conservative approach also applies geographically. Therefore our focus is West Europe, where we see stable regimes both politically and economically and where we have had feed-in tariffs for sustainable energy with a long-term horizon,” says Peter Dickson.
A safe bet
The fund’s customers are primarily institutional investors – largely pension funds. Since the fund was launched in 2008/2009, it has been with the sales argument that green energy was a stable investment in a world which was financially squeezed. “What we offered at the time was the opportunity to invest in a fund with a low risk and stable and competitive returns based on renewable energy. It must be remembered that at that point in time, above all others, renewable energy seemed to be the safest bet with guarantees of reasonable returns. Our strength was and is, that we are based on the fundamental need for security of supply,” says Dickson, highlighting that the world has changed much since – also within energy investments. “Renewable energy is about to make itself independent of regulation. The cost of renewable energy has declined noticeably while the industrial maturation of the technology has resulted in such a large capacity that it now seems like a one-way road is paved for sustainable energy. Among investors, there is much greater concern over the risk of stranded assets within conventional energy than there is a concern surrounding the risks of renewable energy.”
Over the last few years we have seen huge price declines on renewable energy. As an investor, how do you explain the trend and its sudden and rapid development?
“Solar is probably the best example. We are talking price declines of up to 85 percent over the past nine years. The reason the price has fallen so extremely is that huge sums have flowed to the industry in the form of investments, because the projects have been protected against price fluctuations thanks to feed-in tariffs. It is a little ironic, that the original subsidies which should have attracted investors and which have been costly for society as a whole, ultimately ended up maturing the technology and pressuring the price down on new projects, so that today we get entirely different, low prices which can compete without the help of subsidies. We see the same thing in offshore wind with the latest bids in both Denmark and the Netherlands. It could well be that customers feel that in a number of offshore projects that have been built in Northern Europe over the last 10–20 years, they have had to pay a very high price. However, thanks to these projects and the support given at the time, we now see offshore projects such as Borssele at prices which are far lower than would have been imagined just one or two years ago.”
As an investor and a project developer, are your demands for returns the same, although the price for energy is changing? What can you change, when you take on projects in an environment where the price on energy is declining?
“Firstly, all project proposals go through a thorough assessment covering financial risks, technical specifications, legal issues, and which takes into account how the project fits into the rest of our portfolio. We also use considerable time on dialogue with our suppliers. In our wind portfolio, we primarily have Nordex turbines, but we also have Gamesa, Enercon, and Siemens. It is critical for us to understand the strategic approach, which the individual wind turbine manufacturer has for the countries, we wish to invest in. We are not much for buying equipment from a manufacturer which does not already have a critical mass in the country, we are investing in. We must be sure that there is free access to necessary spare parts and that there is a kind of maintenance organization in place. That means that we are close to the management in the companies, which have technology that we use. This is important, because it strives to be a long-term relationship. At the same time, all of our projects, except one, have service agreements in place with original suppliers. We are looking closely at all opportunities to reduce costs without compromising on quality and predictability.”
2016 was a turbulent year, to put it mildly. Trump was elected in the US and the UK voted to exit the EU. Both have the potential to create huge consequences for energy policy. As an investment fund, can you hedge against these kinds of events?
“It is very difficult to take these kinds of macro events 100 percent into account. However our strategy is to bet on diversification – that is why we have invested in five different countries across four different technologies. We have clear barriers for how much we can invest in one technology or one country. We aim to select the countries where the regime is most stable and that means we end up in Western Europe.”
One of the countries is the UK – do you still consider the UK regime stable, even after Brexit?”
The climate and energy field is largely unaffected by Brexit. We still have the same subsidy schemes in place, we still talk about CO2 reduction targets of 40 percent by 2030. Meanwhile, the UK government has worked very diligently to confirm to the market that it will still welcome investment in the country’s energy sector. Obviously, in the wake of the referendum, we as a fund took a step back and considered how to position ourselves. But what has happened since has given us great confidence that the UK will seek the best possible conditions for the country’s renewable energy ambitions.”
You can read the full article here: Energy Watch EU
London’s investment banks are hungry for offshore wind
Date: January 25, 2017
As published in
For several years, offshore wind has held a poor reputation in financial circles for being a risky and expensive venture which should only be taken on by major energy companies. But technology is now so mature and prices have declined so much that the atmosphere has changed, says one of Europe’s largest green funds.
While energy companies such as Dong and Vattenfall have invested massively in offshore wind for many years, the enthusiasm among European equity funds and investment banks has been more modest. The offshore appetite among pension funds has existed for several years, but particularly in recent years this trend has been lead by Danish pension funds. And now, investment banks and other equity funds are joining in.
A study by WindEurope from the summer of 2016 shows that institutional investors were behind the financing of 25.1 percent of the offshore wind capacity erected in the first half of 2016 in the EU. In comparison, this number was just 13.5 percent for the first half of 2015.
The numbers for the full-year 2016 are not yet accessible, but according to one of Europe’s most experienced green equity funds, this number will not shrink going forward.
Equity fund Glennmont Partners, which administers two funds of a total EUR 1 billion in renewable energy, which for the first time acknowledges offshore wind as a technology at the maturity level where the fund is willing to invest in future projects. Thus far, Glennmont Partners has consistently opted to invest only in solar power, onshore turbines, and biomass based on compost. Small hydro facilities are also on the fund’s list of approved technologies, but not something the company has actually invested in.
“Offshore wind is now on the list of technologies that we invest in. So when we enter the market with our next fund in a foreseeable future, there is also a chance that we will invest there. We have previously been skeptical towards offshore wind, and we considered the technology too immature with overly high technological risks and too many bottle necks for our profile. The newest generations of offshore wind farms have shown, however, that the technology has come a long way, and we believe the contracts that form the foundation for the farms are so thoroughly tested now, that we want to join in,” says Peter Dickson, founding partner and technical director of Glennmont Partners.
More professional offshore wind
Glennmont Partners is behind two funds of EUR 437 million and EUR 500 million, respectively. Both funds exclusively invest in projects in renewable energy, and they do so on behalf of institutional investors. The funds have overwhelmingly invested in the UK and southern Europe. The largest investment areas have been solar power and onshore wind, combined with some biomass in the UK.
“A technology like offshore has not thus far level been at a level where we considered it an attractive investment for a fund like ours. The previous offshore projects have naturally been led by large energy companies, which have other opportunities to take on the risks that these projects entail. And take on the projects alone. But now, the market is different and we are seeing everywhere that new offshore farms need to attract financial partners. This places new requirements on the deals behind the farms, and as an investor, we have very strict requirements for risk distribution and guarantees. This helps increase the professionalism behind the projects and it benefits all parties, as I see it,” says Dickson.
Different capital requirements
The investments in offshore wind turbines require a very different level of capital, however, than that required by onshore turbines and solar panel farms. For this reason, the trend has mainly been for energy companies such as Dong to take on the preparation work and begin construction of the offshore wind farms, and then divest stakes to parties such as pension funds.
Glennmont Partners is also potentially interested in this type of model, but in order to get in the game it needs to evaluate the size of the future fund.
“We will have to examine how to financially structure a new fund. Offshore projects are more expensive than onshore, for example, so it would take a different kind of strength. Therefore, it would be a type of consortium, where apart from economic funds we can offer technical knowledge and a risk management team with vast experience. Furthermore, we have extensive in-house engineering expertise in how to manage large and complex construction projects. So I see us taking a leadership role in this kind of consortium,” says Dickson.
You can read the full article here: Energy Watch EU
The future of clean energy in the new Europe
Date: November 17, 2016
While in political terms 2016 is most likely to be remembered for President-elect Donald Trump and for Brexit, maybe we should pinch ourselves and remember how this year also saw international Governments come together to establish a consensus in favour of ever more ambitious climate change mitigation targets. Many would agree this is the most significant political issue of the year. The signing of the COP21 agreement in November 2015 has been followed by an extremely fast ratification, so that the agreement came into force on the 5th of October this year. For this we must partly thank Mr Trump, without whose candidacy for President of the United States a more relaxed approach may have been adopted by Governments.
Today Glennmont Partners brought together some of the leading opinion formers from the UK clean energy industry, from Government and from the world of environmental economics to mark the shift in thinking on energy policy and investment trends that has occurred. Lord Deben, the Chair of the UK Government’s Committee on Climate Change, Ivor Catto, CEO of leading global renewable energy developer, RES, and Tom Burke, past advisor to several UK Secretaries of State and Chairman of independent think tank, E3G all spoke at Glennmont’s event in the House of Lords. From three diverging backgrounds the message was the same: that there is a momentum behind the decarbonisation of the power sector globally that will not easily be headed off by unilateral actions by climate sceptic Governments; that the economics of renewable power are creating a ‘pull’ factor on regulation, in a reversal of the conventional paradigm of policy being used to create a commercial case for renewables; and that for energy sector investors the choice is no longer difficult – there is more risk inherent in sticking with old conventional plant than there is in supporting the clean energy revolution.
In his speech, Lord Deben drove home the point that whatever policies are under debate in the UK Parliament, decarbonisation is beyond discussion due to the terms of the Climate Change Act of 2008 which establishes a framework to develop an economically credible emissions reduction path. He emphasised the significance of the Paris Accord, drawn up at COP21 last year, which constituted a hugely significant indication of a global direction of travel.
For us to rise to the challenge set out by COP21, innovation is essential. Ivor Catto spoke about how this is indeed under way through the UK’s private sector companies. He considers that the challenges set by climate change mitigation are well understood and create many opportunities for investors to put their funds to work for the good of the planet. Ivor showed that the development of demand-side technologies had the potential to create very significant new opportunities for generation, and that the decarbonisation of the transport sector would give rise to a whole new requirement for carbon-free power generation to fuel the fleet of electric cars.
We ended our roundtable on an optimistic note for the sector. Tom Burke, the well-respected economist and commentator in the world of climate change mitigation, reiterated the point that there is a momentum in the clean energy sector and in decarbonisation in general that will be hard to stop. He pointed out that now Paris is in force there is little that any individual can do to undermine it. The biggest risk in commercial and environmental terms is not investing in low-carbon power generation.
The aligned message from all the speakers was that the momentum of industrial activity and the precipitous drop in the price of power produced from renewable sources signifies a fundamental reversal in the situation from a few years ago. Whereas policy was once used to drive the economics of power generation, it is now low carbon power which directs activity and potentially policy.
Glennmont secures financing of its 60 MW wind farm in Italy
Date: November 10, 2016
Glennmont closes the financing of one of the largest single wind farms in Italy, acquired prior to construction and delivered to the operational phase
Glennmont Partners, one of the largest infrastructure investment managers dedicated to European clean energy, has completed the financing of one of the largest single wind farms in Italy.
The 60MW wind farm was purchased by Glennmont when all construction permits were secured and the 20 year Feed-in Tariff was awarded under the auction system run by the Italian Authority (Gestore Servizi Energetici – GSE). Glennmont then structured the procurement and construction contracts, and managed the construction of the plant which was delivered on budget and within the set time-frame.
The wind farm is located in the Basilicata region, in an area of strong wind resource, and benefits from a 20-year tariff, granting a pre-set and fix value per MW generated over the period. The site consists of 20 Siemens wind turbines with 3 MW of capacity each.
Glennmont has closed a 17 year non-recourse project financing with a pool of top tier lenders including ING, Siemens Bank and Unicredit which have provided in excess of €85m.
The investment is aligned with Glennmont’s strategy of building a significant portfolio of renewable projects which are diversified across proven technologies in the most attractive European markets with a view to delivering stable and predictable returns to investors. This wind farm further bolsters Glennmont’s Italian wind portfolio which comprises a 245MW portfolio recently purchased from Iberdrola and an additional 30MW operational plant. Glennmont now manages in excess of 600MW of onshore wind capacity in France, Ireland, Italy and the UK as well as a further 300MW of biomass and solar.
Francesco Cacciabue, a Partner at Glennmont, said: “The commitment of €85m to our project builds on our track record of securing financing from top tier institutions and reinforces our ability to select opportunities, execute investments and manage large construction sites in order to deliver high quality assets to our investors”.
Gruig Wind Farm distributes annual wind fall for local community groups
Date: August 3, 2016
Gruig Wind Farm, located near Corkey, Co Antrim has just provided an annual financial contribution towards three local community groups. The wind farm managed by local renewable energy company, RES, on behalf of wind farm owners Glennmont Partners, supports three local groups: Cloughmills Community Action Team, St Anne’s Support Group (Corkey) and the Loughgiel Community Association.
Since commencing operations in 2010, the wind farm has provided over £74,000 to the local community. The fund has provided a number of activities and services within the local area, including contributing towards the Old Mill community allotment project in Cloughmills. The facility provides a safe and friendly environment for members of the local community to come together and enjoy a passion for garden and all things horticultural. From growing and preparing plants for hanging baskets, to raising hens, the allotments have grown from strength to strength in recent years.
St Anne’s Support Group uses their proportion of the Fund to provide additional support to St Anne’s Primary School, Corkey. The Fund has provided additional teaching resources and assisted in extracurricular activities throughout the year, such as school trips.
Loughgiel Development Association continues to use their Gruig Wind Farm financial contribution towards ongoing running costs within the Millennium Centre and maintaining the valuable services which it has been providing the community in recent times, such as the playgroup service that enables parents to return to work.
Angela O’Hagan, Centre Manager, The Millennium Centre stated, “The funding that we receive from Gruig Wind Farm is a great lifeline to us. It allows us to maintain the services for the community that we have established over the years. As there are no restrictions on how it can be used, we are also able to use some of the money to cover insurance and running costs that we just wouldn’t be able to get funding for anywhere else”.
Gruig Wind Farm, Community Relations Manager, Victoria Graham continues, “It is great to see and hear first-hand the difference that the Community Benefit Fund is making to local groups. We have close links with the local villages and hope to continue building on relationships over the coming years through RES’ continued management and operations of Gruig Wind Farm.
Glennmont acquires 245 MW Wind Farm Portfolio in Italy
Date: July 4, 2016
Glennmont closes the acquisition of one of the largest wind portfolios in Italy
Glennmont Partners, one of the largest infrastructure investment managers dedicated to European clean energy, has completed the purchase of one of the most sizeable operational portfolios of wind farms in Italy. The investment totals 245MW across five sites located in Puglia and Sicily – two of highest wind resource areas of Italy. The wind farms are held by Societa’ Energie Rinnovabili (“SER”) and Societa’ Energie Rinnovabili 1 (“SER 1”) (together called the “SER portfolio”) and were purchased from Iberdrola, the Spanish listed utility.
The five sites have on average a five year operational history and are project financed by a club of Italian and international banks. The SER portfolio benefits from the Italian Feed-In Premium ten further years creating a hedge versus electricity price volatility.
Glennmont Partners have acquired the portfolio including a skilled in-house team of circa twenty employees managing the portfolio and providing technical, commercial, administrative and financial services to the wind farms. All existing lending banks have already consented to Glennmont becoming the new owner.
The investment fits Glennmont’s strategy of building a significant portfolio of renewable projects that is diversified across proven technologies in the most attractive European markets with a view to deliver stable and predictable returns to investors. Glennmont already owned approximately 80MW of wind generation capacity in Italy. Glennmont now manages in excess of 500MW of onshore wind capacity in France, Ireland, Italy and the UK as well as a further 300MW of biomass and solar.
Francesco Cacciabue, Partner of Glennmont, said: “The SER portfolio is a high quality wind farm portfolio of very significant size with a proven track record. This investment validates our strategy of building scale in a market on the back of steady asset cash flows with potential to unlock and add value over time by active asset management”.
Italy provides 9 billion Euros for clean energy
Date: July 1, 2016
When one’s home country is immersed in an intense political process that dominates the press sometimes it is hard to see the wider picture to note that business carries on as usual. In the instance of European renewable energy deployment, the Renewable Energy Directive continues to drive investment and national regulation. Last week the Government of Italy approved a decree aimed at providing support for the renewable energy sector for the next 20 years. The Italian Government has stated that the framework is aimed at encouraging the replacement of conventional power in the country’s energy mix.
Italy has already surpassed its 2020 target of 17% energy to be sourced from renewable sources, and yet has announced a funding programme for the next 20 years.The programme will support technologies where Glennmont is specialist, onshore wind and biomass as well as solar thermal power projects.
Glennmont has maintained close links to the Italian energy ministry and over the past 4 years has developed a portfolio of wind and solar power in Italy, including the recent purchase of the 245MW wind portfolio from Spanish utility, Iberdrola. The decree shows that confidence in the Italian renewable energy market is well placed and that our established position there will likely give rise to further opportunities in the future.
For more information please click on the link below:
School visit to Seixal Solar Park
Date: May 27, 2016
On May 17th 2016, Escola Profissional da Moita School visited Glennmont’s Seixal Solar Plant in Portugal.The tour was organized by Martifer Solar in conjunction with Vectorcuatro.
Renewable energy is having a greater impact in Portugal and there is increased youth awareness and interest in clean energy technology and the positive impacts it has on the environment.
On arrival at the solar plant, the students were given Personal Protective Equipment and briefed on health, safety and security on site.
During the tour, Site personal explained the solar panel installation procedure and described the functionality of the photovoltaic modules and inverters, as well as the junction boxes and other connections of the plant.
In small groups, the students were shown the inner parts of the inverters and transformer centers and all the different components that facilitate the production of energy.
At the end of the visit, the students expressed their desire to continue learning about Clean Energy technology to encourage a more sustainable world.
9th Glennmont Annual Clean Energy Seminar – Robust Outlook for the sector
Date: May 19, 2016
On 9th and 10th May 2016, Glennmont Partners held its 9th Annual Clean Energy seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event brought together key institutional investors and a range of renewable energy thought leaders to reflect, discuss and analyse the trends that are shaping our industry and promoting investment in the sector.
On the speaker panel was Maria van der Hoeven, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency and former Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands and Supervisory Board Member of RWE. Maria opened the event with a discussion on the Paris Agreement being a major turning point in supporting climate change action. With 190 members signed up to a legally binding action and a very large number of private companies, cities and other entities laying down commitments to add renewable energy in the coming year, the EU is on track to achieve 50% of renewable electricity by 2050. Maria van der Hoeven was very confident that renewable power generation will continue to grow.
We also had a presentation from Anders Thorsen, Chief Underwriter at Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF). Anders described EKF’s role as Denmark´s official export credit agency. With more than 94 years of experience, EKF is owned and guaranteed by the Danish state and operates on commercial terms. So far EKF has helped to create and retain more than 120,000 jobs in Denmark many of which in the renewable energy space. EKF has been a very active lender in the UK biomass sector participating in more than 6 out of 21 recent projects. EKF likes the biomass sub segment in the UK where many Danish construction companies are active.
Richard Furniss, Nordex Country Manager for UK and Ireland gave an update on the future of on shore wind turbine manufacturing. Nordex is a top 3 global wind turbine manufacturer and has recently purchased Acciona. Mr Furniss outlined that the on shore wind sector is on track to become competitive without subsidies. Larger turbines and bigger rotors will allow for a further reduction of costs. The market in Europe will continue to grow and regulators will need to continue to make zoning for wind turbines easier.
On the last day of the seminar, attendees toured Avedøre biomass Power Station. Avedøre Power Plant is a high-technology facility and has over time converted from using coal, petroleum (oil) and natural gas to a wide variety of biomass fuels such as straw and wood pellets. The plant consists of two units with a total capacity of 793 MW of electricity and 918 MW of heat. The recent phase of the plant was built by BWSC who also constructed Sleaford REP on behalf of Glennmont.
Construction Underway on 60MW Wind Farm in Italy
Date: January 29, 2016
Glennmont Partners is progressing the development of a 60MW wind farm in the Basilicata Region of Southern Italy. The wind farm comprising of 20 turbines to be supplied by Siemens Wind Power is located 10km North-East of Melfi village. The project is one of the largest wind farms being built at the moment in Italy in one of the windiest areas of the country.
The project is being constructed by Siemens S.p.A and Pizzulo Costruzioni S.r.l, with Progetto Energia srl providing regulatory roles and Milan based Montana S.pA providing the construction management services under the supervision of Glennmont Partners.
Construction began on site in September 2015 with a programmed completion of the project in September 2016. Progress to date has included construction of access roads, wind turbine foundations and export cable laying.
Wind turbine components are due to arrive at site in April 2016.
Port Clarence Biomass – Construction Work Starts In Earnest at Port Clarence Renewable Energy Plant
Date: December 15, 2015
The Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, has broken ground at the Port Clarence Renewable Energy Plant, a new £160m power station that will enter commercial operation in 2018.
Port Clarence Energy is owned by Glennmont Partners, a UK financial institution with interests in renewable energy projects elsewhere in the UK and across Europe.
The 40MW plant is being built on land which has lain empty for many years and which is situated on the north bank of the River Tees, close to the Transporter Bridge. Fuelled by waste wood, the power station will generate electricity for the equivalent of 75,000 homes across the Tees Valley and elsewhere in the North East.
The construction of the plant is being carried out by Babcock Wilcox Lagan in partnership with Eco2, the company that originated and secured planning for the Port Clarence Energy plant in 2014. There are currently 40 people employed on the site and this is expected to rise to 300 people at the peak of the construction period. Once operational in 2018, the scheme will directly employ 30 people.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said:
“Glennmont’s investment in our Borough is certainly welcomed as through the introduction of technologies such as biomass they can help grow our economy and create jobs for local people.
“I am delighted to see the Port Clarence Energy project begin to come to fruition and I’m looking forward to residents and businesses benefiting from the energy it will produce.”
“The Council is committed to working with the private sector to help them explore opportunities to develop renewable energy products like this which will help to reduce carbon emissions.”
Murray Paterson, UK Biomass Manager at Glennmont Partners said:
“The existing road and electrical infrastructure makes the Port Clarence area an ideal location for our renewable energy facility. We greatly appreciate the support that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has given to the project so far and we will work closely with the Council through the project’s construction and eventual operation. The Port Clarence Energy scheme will mean new jobs being created but equally important, it will be generating renewable energy from waste wood that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Port Clarence Energy is good for the local economy and the local environment.”
In January, a website for the project will go live – www.portclarenceenegy.co.uk. This will provide additional information on the project and provide local residents, businesses and other interested parties with regular updates on the construction of the project.
About Glenmont Partners: www.glennmont.com
For further information:
Port Clarence Energy / Glennmont Partners
Paul Taylor – 020 3170 email@example.com
Glennmont Completes Purchase of 40MW Biomass Project
Date: October 7, 2015
Glennmont Partners has completed the purchase of the Port Clarence Energy Project on behalf of its clean energy fund, Glennmont Clean Energy Fund Europe II (“The Fund”), in an £160m deal. The Port Clarence Energy Project will see a new biomass power generation plant built at Port Clarence, Stockton-on-Tees, providing 40MW of CHP-enabled renewable energy to the UK Energy market. The plant is expected to become operational during the first quarter of 2018. The purchase and further construction of the Port Clarence Energy Project is being supported and debt arranged by Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank with the support of EKF, the export credit agency of Denmark.
The completion of this transaction is a significant step towards the full investment of The Fund into a portfolio that benefits from diversification across technologies and geographies. Glennmont’s second fund has completed six deals to date, comprising biomass, onshore wind and solar photovoltaics assets located in France, Italy, the UK and Portugal.
Glennmont Partners is delighted to bolster our biomass presence in Europe which now amounts to nearly 120MW across three sites. This deal consolidates Glennmont’s position as the UK’s pre-eminent investor in, and operator of, dedicated biomass plants and demonstrates to investors our commitment to keep building on our portfolio. This deal was completed in the midst of a difficult regulatory environment. Fuel for the plant will be sourced from the waste wood market and will be supplied by Stobart Biomass Products Limited under a long-term, indexed-linked fuel supply contract.
ESG – Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant Awarded Prestigious Community Business Award
Date: September 11, 2015
Glennmont is very aware of the distributed nature of renewable energy power projects and the importance of embedding these within the local community. The Glennmont commitment to being an active member of local communities as energy provider is a core part of our ESG strategy.
Glennmont is delighted that its commitment to ESG has been recognised. The Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant has been awarded the prestigious Community Business Award by the North Kesteven District Council. During the decision-making process, the award panel considered the following contributions:
– Innovation and initiative
– Impact of the project on the wider community
– Whether or not the project acted above and beyond the call of duty
– Aspects of business endeavour
The award was presented to Murray Paterson of Glennmont Partners and David Spilsbury of Eco2 at the Community Award presentation which took place in Navenby on the 10th of September. The award and certificate will be kept on display at Sleaford.
In the award citation, the impact of Sleaford REP on employment, community funding, educational programmes and public art were all highlighted. A short video of the plant featuring Darren Smith was also shown to the audience.
We are very proud of the high standard that Glennmont have set and endeavour to keep it up.
Glennmont completes acquisition of 18MW wind farm in France
Date: May 29, 2015
Glennmont Partners, one of the largest infrastructure investment managers dedicated to clean energy across Europe, has completed the acquisition of an 18 MW operating wind farm in the North-East region of France. The wind farm is powered by Senvion turbines and was developed and built by ENERTRAG, a leading German developer which has installed over 570 wind turbines.
ENERTRAG, which currently provides technical management and maintenance services for over 1,400 turbines, will continue to look after the technical and commercial operations of the wind farm.
This transaction takes Glennmont’s onshore wind portfolio over 210MW across France, Ireland, the UK and Italy. Glennmont continues to develop a diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects across geographies and technologies, to deliver robust and sustainable returns for its investors.
Francesco Cacciabue, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Glennmont Partners, said: “The acquisition further reinforces Glennmont’s track record of identifying and buying quality assets in France, and closing transactions quickly with no execution risk. We are delighted to partner with a reputable developer and operator like ENERTRAG for the long-term management of the wind farm.”
Simon Hagedorn, Head of Portfolio Management and M&A at ENERTRAG, said: “We appreciate the close cooperation with Glennmont and look forward to continuing our partnership. By providing the technical and commercial management, ENERTRAG continues to be committed to this project which we started in 2007 and constructed together with three wind projects in the North-East region within the last year.”
Secretary of State for Energy of Portugal opens Glennmont’s 8th Annual Clean Energy Seminar
Date: May 15, 2015
On 11 and 12 May, 2015 Glennmont Partners hosted its 8th Annual Clean energy seminar bringing together institutional investors and a number of thought leaders. The seminar was held in Lisbon. His Excellency Artur Trindade, Secretary of State for Energy of Portugal, opened the seminar and shared his views on Energy Policy in Portugal. He described the Government’s firm commitment to standby feed in tariffs provided in the past despite pressure externally in times of economic crisis. In his view, any form of retro-active cuts would have a detrimental effect of the cost of capital for Portuguese investment and thus jeopardise growth. He predicts further continued investment in clean energy in Portugal in off shore wind and also solar. He believes that with the decrease in levelised cost of energy for solar and the strong irradiation levels in Portugal, the country is well placed to see more market based solar investments both at retail as well as institutional level. Portugal also favours a further integration of the European power markets. Other European countries could for example, invest in Portugal renewable energy and receive credits towards their national targets.
Glennmont wins Deal of the Year for acquisition of Margam Green Energy Project
Date: May 8, 2015
On 29th April 2015, New Energy and Cleantech held their eighth annual award ceremony in London, recognising and celebrating pivotal players in the future of green energy and cleantech. Glennmont Partners was awarded Deal of the Year for the acquisition of Margam Green Energy Project – a 40MW biomass plant in Wales. The plant was acquisitioned in January with construction expected to be completed in 2017.
Glennmont is absolutely delighted with the award and sees it as a recognition of its ability to source and implement complex transactions that require a combination of significant financial, technical and sector expertise. Margam is Glennmont’s second investment in the UK biomass sector. Glennmont’s Sleaford Biomass – a 38 MW straw fired power plant – became operational in 2014.
To view a list of the 2015 New Energy and Cleantech award winners please click here
Ceremonial switch on of Sleaford’s district heating system
Date: March 2, 2015
Representatives from Glennmont Partners, NKDC, 1Life, William Alvey School pupils, and Sleaford and District Bowles Club gathered this week at Sleaford Leisure Centre to ceremonially switch on the new district heating system.
The system harnesses surplus heat generated by the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant (Sleaford REP) and is used for heating five local community hubs through a piping system, which runs under Boston Road and under the River Slea. This heat is provided by the Plant free of charge for twenty-five years – saving an estimated £2million in energy costs as a collective over that period.
Geoff Hoffheinz, Technical Manager for Glennmont Partners, who own Sleaford REP, attended the ceremony and said: ‘Sleaford REP is our flagship investment project and the district heating system takes the Plant’s renewables concept to another level. For the Plant uses a renewable fuel, sourced in the local agricultural community – powering 65,000 homes, but also has an efficient system that provides free heat to amongst others the beacon Sleaford Leisure Centre.
Having looked around the brilliant Leisure Centre, I think it’s quite fitting that this 21st Century facility is heated by a 21st Century efficient, renewable heating system. Overall we believe this is a win-win for all concerned and credit should also be given to the vision and drive of NKDC for helping bring this all into being.’
At the ceremony NKDC’s Cllr Richard Wright, with executive responsibility for sustainability, spoke about how significant renewable energy is to local communities and how important the Plant is as a beacon project nationally. Local school children were also able to watch a short video on how 240,000 tonnes of straw is locally collected and then used in the plant to fuel their school and the leisure centre.
Cllr Wright said: “The creation of the plant was an exciting project for the District Council to be involved in, as we believed this was the kind of greener energy production and technology we supported. Plus there was the significant investment in the local economy, a £120,000 community fun and the free heat to a number of community buildings, like our award winning Sleaford Leisure Centre. “The free heat is a huge boost in our efforts to cut carbon emissions and rely less on non-renewable fuel to heat our facilities. I would like to thank Glennmont Partners, Eco2, and the team at NKDC to ensure we could benefit from such a great scheme.”
The district heating system provides free heat to: Sleaford’s Leisure Centre, Sleaford Bowling Centre, Sleaford Town Football, William Alvey Primary School, and North Kesteven District Council’s office in the town.
Glennmont completes acquisition of three wind farms in France totalling 25MW
Date: February 3, 2015
Glennmont Partners, one of the largest infrastructure investment managers dedicated to clean energy across Europe, has completed the acquisition of three operating wind farms with a total capacity of 25MW from Diamond Wind Europe and Green Power Development Holding. The acquisition comprises three wind farms (11MW, 8MW and 6MW respectively) located in the Nord region of France. The sites are located in one of the strongest wind resource areas in the country.
The portfolio has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with EDF and each wind farm benefits from the 15-year French feed-in tariff regime. Glennmont has signed long-term operation and maintenance agreements with reputable and experienced counterparties, and has secured long-term, non-recourse project financing.
This transaction adds to Glennmont’s existing French wind portfolio of ten assets which includes the acquisition of 22MW projects announced in October last year and takes it to over 100MW.
Glennmont continues to develop a diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects across geographies and technologies, to deliver robust and sustainable returns for its investors. Currently managing over 190MW onshore wind farms in France, Ireland, Italy and the UK, it is strongly positioned for future growth. Peter Dickson, Partner and Technical Director of Glennmont, said: “We are glad to have worked with our Japanese partners to close this transaction that brings our French wind portfolio to more than 100MW. France is a core market for us, and we continue to look for opportunities to acquire well-developed projects across the country.”
Glennmont completes purchase of 40MW Biomass project
Date: January 26, 2015
Glennmont Partners has completed the purchase of the Margam Green Energy Project from ECO2 Ltd. and Western Logs Group on behalf of its dedicated clean energy fund, Glennmont Clean Energy Fund Europe II in a £160m deal.
The Margam Green Energy Project will see a new biomass power generation plant built in Port Talbot, Wales, providing 40 MW of renewable energy to the Welsh and UK Energy market.
The purchase and further construction of the Margam Green Energy Project is being supported by debt arranged by Deutsche Bank with the support of Eksport Kredit Fonden, the export credit agency of Denmark.
The completion of the deal marks the inclusion of the first biomass generation in Glennmont Clean Energy Fund Europe II and a significant step towards the completion of the diversified European portfolio of clean energy investment. The Fund has already completed four deals in onshore wind and solar photovoltaics and with the addition of this innovative biomass transaction now has assets in France, UK and Portugal.
Joost Bergsma, CEO of Glennmont Partners, said: “In the current market it is important to be versatile and technically skilled in order to close the right deals. Glennmont is demonstrating an excellent track record of being among the leading investors for producing value in difficult circumstances. Margam is a great example of this and sends a strong message to the market that it is full steam ahead for us.”
Michael Volkermann, Head of Infrastructure and Energy Finance for EMEA at Deutsche Bank, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this important project that will deliver a new source of renewable energy to Wales and the UK.” Simon Sayer, Head of Structured Trade & Export Finance EMEA at Deutsche Bank, commented: “We greatly appreciate the participation of EKF in working with us on this transaction and look forward to continuing our partnership with EKF in financing renewable energy projects around the world.”
Kim Richter, Senior Director for SME & Cleantech at EKF (Eksport Kredit Fonden), said: “Biomass is booming in the UK, and EKF is pleased to help Babcock Wilcox Volund A/S secure the contract for the Margam plant. It is an important project and so far EKF’s first biomass plant in the UK with Babcock Wilcox Volund A/S. The project fits very well with EKF’s continued commitment to support renewable energy projects based on Danish technology. We have been very pleased working with the professional partners involved in making this project possible.”
Fuel for the plant will be sourced from the waste wood market and will be supplied by Stobart Biomass Products Ltd under a long-term, indexed-linked fuel supply contract.
The plant was developed and will be managed by ECO2 Ltd., which has unique experience in developing, building and operating UK biomass plants.
The construction contract has been placed with a consortium consisting of Babcock Wilcox Volund A/S, who will also operate the plant, and Interserve.
Energy Minister officially opens beacon Renewable Energy Plant
Date: December 9, 2014
Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma officially opened the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant today after touring the Plant and officially unveiling a Plaque to mark the occasion.
Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant (REP) entered commercial operation in September 2014. It is a 38MW power plant, generating enough electricity to power 65,000 homes using sustainable fuel sources, saving 240 000 tonnes of CO2 per annum thus helping the UK achieve its renewable energy targets whilst bolstering the nation’s energy security. The plant’s proven technology is designed for the clean and efficient combustion of straw, the by-product of wheat production, secured mainly from farms within a 50-mile radius of Sleaford; with a majority from within a 30 mile radius. Ash produced by the plant will be recycled as crop fertiliser.
Glennmont Partner’s Peter Dickson, who own the Plant, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Baroness Verma to Sleaford REP and officially open our Plant.”
“Sleaford REP represents a £165million pound investment – generating an additional £ 5.7million annually for the local economy. It is a win/win project for local jobs, sustainably supporting the local agricultural sector, providing free heat to five local public buildings, whilst primarily generating renewable energy. However, we are also proud of our community work through the well-being agreement with North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) that is delivering £285,000 of funding which includes grants for local community groups and projects, an education programme, as well as apprenticeships.”
“The Plant is the first of its type on the UK (straw burn biomass CHP) and having the Minister here demonstrates the high regard the Government has for this beacon Plant.”
The Minister was welcomed to Sleaford at the NKDC offices and was joined by local dignitaries including local MP Stephen Phillips QC, NKDC Leader Cllr Brighton, and Mayor of Sleaford Cllr Keith Dolby (who is also Vice-Chair of Sleaford REP Community Liaison Group).
After taking a tour of the Plant and unveiling a commemorative plaque on site to mark the occasion, Baroness Verma said:
“Sustainable biomass is a key part of our low carbon energy mix and has the potential to power around 8 million homes by 2020. Sleaford Renewable Energy plant is a great example of the benefits on offer including jobs and investment in local community projects.”
“I wish the Sleaford Renewable Energy plant every success for the future.”
Sleaford REP was developed by Eco2 and are now subcontracted to run the Plant on behalf of owners Glennmont Partners – its Chairman, Peter Darwell said of the official opening:
“Today represents a great achievement for all parties involved. Eco2 started developing this project in 2006 and we are delighted to be here today to see it officially opened and successfully generating renewable energy.”
David Williams, Chief Executive of Eco2 added,
“The Sleaford plant was hailed as an exemplar of the green economic progress in the UK and part of the vision for sustainable energy by Prime Minister David Cameron. It is fantastic that it is now making a significant contribution to the local economy of Lincolnshire as well as to national renewable energy targets.”
Glennmont begins operations of 38MW Biomass plant
Date: September 22, 2014
Glennmont Partners, the leading investment manager dedicated to clean energy in Europe, has commenced operation of the 38MW Sleaford straw-fired renewable energy plant.
The plant was built by a consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S and Burmeister and Wain Energy A/S. Glennmont purchased 100% of the equity in the project in December 2011, and financed the construction through a debt package provided by NIBC Bank NV, RBS, Siemens Bank GmbH and Unicredit Bank AG.
Sleaford will generate enough electricity to power 65,000 homes as well as providing free heat to local sports clubs and community facilities. It will create and support jobs in local agriculture and has been built to perform to the highest environmental standards.
Glennmont Partners continues to develop a diversified portfolio of renewable projects across Europe and across technologies aimed at delivering robust and sustainable returns for its investors. Currently managing a portfolio of more than 300MW of biomass, wind and solar power in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and the UK, Glennmont is ready to grow its portfolio with early investments from its second fund.
Joost Bergsma, Managing Partner of Glennmont, said: “Sleaford is a landmark deal not only for Glennmont but for the UK biomass industry as a whole. Glennmont has committed itself to leading the way for institutional investors to realise exceptional value from the renewable energy market, and Sleaford is an excellent example of this.”
Glennmont clean energy infrastructure fund oversubscribed, reaches €500m cap
Date: September 1, 2014
Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest fund managers focusing exclusively on investment in clean energy infrastructure, has successfully closed its second fund, Clean Energy Fund II, having raised €500 million, the maximum amount permitted, exceeding its target of €450 million.
The life of the fund is ten years and the fundraising has been supported both by existing and new investors, including the European Investment Bank (EIB) which invested €50 million, the single largest clean energy equity investment it made in 2013 . With its second fund, Glennmont has attracted capital from new territories and now has investors in its funds based across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia.
Commenting on the final close of its second fund, Glennmont Managing Partner Joost Bergsma said: “We were previously a specialist team working within other institutions, but having established Glennmont we are now a specialist independent partner and our investors value that. We have now fully invested our first fund, building on our existing track record as an independent company. The oversubscribed nature of our second fund raising, and the breadth and calibre of our investors, is a clear signal that the markets appetite for yield and long term capital appreciation remains healthy.”
Glennmont was founded last year as a spin-off from BNP Paribas Investment Partners. It manages long-term capital to invest in alternative power generation projects focusing on proven technologies such as wind, biomass, solar and small-scale hydro across the UK and continental Europe. Glennmont’s first fund has operating infrastructure projects in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy and Portugal totalling 354MW collectively
Bergsma added, “Our team is already assessing a number of high quality investment opportunities and we’re ready to continue to grow by backing only carefully selected, risk managed investments. The closing of our second fund reflects investor confidence in our ability to deliver sustained performance and predictable returns.”
Global Wind day 15th June 2014 – Gruig wind farm school tour
Date: June 2, 2014
In the lead up to Global Wind Day on 15 June, Glennmont Partners and outsourced asset management company RES hosted a visit from Northern Ireland schools.
Pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School in Dunloy recently enjoyed a visit to Gruig Wind Farm in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. The pupils were given a tour of the wind farm, with the visit designed to integrate sustainable development into education and help pupils develop an understanding of the challenges, impacts and responsibilities of making lifestyle choices that reduce our environmental impact.
Gruig Wind Farm was built by RES in 2009 and consists of 10 turbines totalling 25MW. The wind farm is now owned by Glennmont Partners but operated and maintained by RES on their behalf.
Speakers at 7th Glennmont seminar highlight clear current drivers for sustained clean energy investments
Date: May 21, 2014
May 12 and 13 2014 saw the 7th annual Glennmont Partners clean energy seminar coupled with the AGMs for Glennmont’s two clean energy funds. This year the venue was situated close to the Sleaford straw-fired biomass plant which is in the final stages of commissioning. Speakers this year were selected to present their view of the place for clean energy in a volatile global energy market. The events in Ukraine have served to underscore the energy security statements made so clearly by Ambassador Jones of the International Energy Agency in the 2013 seminar. Also a series of extreme climatic events have brought climate change abruptly back onto the political agenda. The various drivers for clean energy investments have never been so clearly seen as they are this year. Our speakers this year included Tom Burke of E3G, Angus McCrone of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Daniel McCormick of Windsor Energy, Stephanie Watkins of HSB Insurance and Boja Escalada of Vectorcuatro.
On the second day delegates had the chance to visit the 38.5 MWe Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant, now approaching completion and commercial operations. Staff from BWSC, the Operations and Maintenance contractor, and ECO2, the Asset Manager and fuel coordinator, conducted tours of the plant and demonstrated the fuel management, Boiler Island, power plant, hygiene plant and the control room.
Glennmont Partners’ focus on Italian renewables covered in the main national newspapers
Date: April 11, 2014
Claudio Vescovo, leading Glennmont Partners’ Italian investments, chaired the Renewable Energy Summit in Milan. The Summit, hosted by the Italian Trade Agency, saw a great level of interest from the Italian press: La Repubblica, La Stampa, Libero, Qual Energia covered the event. Glennmont is an experienced investor in the Italian market, thanks to its track record in solar photovoltaics and onshore wind, and aims at expanding its existing portfolio. Claudio Vescovo shared its views on the attraction of the Italian renewables market with a particular focus on the evolutions of the regulatory regime, and new market trends and investment dynamics. The event aimed at gathering experienced investors with seasoned developers, and saw the attendance of many international funds and established renewables players.
For more on the Renewable Energy Summit, please follow the links below:
Extreme weather patterns
Date: March 7, 2014
The weather at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 has been one of the most extreme and dramatic on record in Western Europe. In the UK the continuous rain has meant the wettest winter since 1766 with gale force winds with peak speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour across the country. New records have been set for many parts of the UK, with southeast and central southern England having seen well over double the rainfall expected in a normal winter. In Ireland, 71 year old wind speed and 129 year old rainfall records were broken. France, Portugal and especially Italy have been also affected by extreme weather events with significant storms and flooding events over the same period.
Glennmont has been proactively managing the situation over the winter period ensuring that all support teams were ready to act in case of any unforeseen event due to extreme weather conditions. We also ensured health and safety standards and rules were fully adhered to at all times during these challenging conditions. Glennmont wind and solar parks have withstood the extreme weather without any material damage. During the period from December to January, Glennmont’s wind portfolio has produced electricity exceeding its business plan by 8%, producing 72.5GWh.
Sleaford Biomass Plant Commissioning Update
Date: March 5, 2014
Test and commissioning is continuing at the Sleaford biomass plant. The plant is now operating 24 hours a day and has been running up to full load (38.5MW) during the testing. The ramp up of operations during the testing and commissioning has proved the fuel supply and logistics system bringing in the straw bales from the fields and holding sites. The delivery to site has been trouble free with up to 35 deliveries a day of straw to the site.
The next major event to commence shortly is the tests on completion which are the precursor to commercial operations.
At the plant the civil works to transform it from a construction site to an operational power plant are well underway, with planting of trees around the plant and landscaping works.
The EPC consortium and its subcontractors passed an major milestone during February with the achievement of over 365 days continuous activity with no lost time due to accidents. With over 300 people on site throughout most of 2013 this is an important achievement.
Overall completion of the plant remains well ahead of schedule.
Glennmont wins Finance Monthly Deal Maker of the Year Award
Date: December 23, 2013
This month, Glennmont Partners was awarded Deal Maker of the Year for 2013 by Finance Monthly. Finance Monthly announced the official results for its annual Deal Maker of the Year Awards on 18th December 2013, awarding Glennmont for the successful launch of its second fund in August 2013.
Glennmont’s second fund secured €200 million at first close, making it one of the largest energy infra fund launches for 2013. In December 2013, Glennmont secured further investment of €50 million into its second fund – now amassing €250 million. With a target size of up to €450 million, the fund continues to be open for further investment.
Glennmont’s first fund was launched in 2009 and raised €437 million making it the largest pure-play clean energy investment funds in Europe.
To view the publication, visit: http://headley.co.uk/headturner/FMDM13
Glennmont secures €50 million investment in its second fund
Date: December 9, 2013
Glennmont Partners, one of the largest infrastructure vehicles dedicated to clean energy across Europe, has secured a €50 million investment in its second fund by the European Investment Bank. The investment is the single largest clean energy equity investment made by EIB this year.
Commenting on the EIB investment, Joost Bergsma, CEO of Glennmont, said: “We are delighted that the EIB has chosen to invest in our second fund. It has developed a first class reputation for its work in clean energy and this investment further demonstrates that our independent, specialist approach is attractive to top-level investors. We share a common goal with the EIB to promote sustainable and secure sources of energy for the UK while also delivering consistent yield and long-term capital appreciation for investors.”
“Glennmont has an established track record and proven readiness to support renewable energy projects across Europe. The European Investment Bank is pleased to back projects that tackle a changing climate.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for environment and climate lending.
Glennmont Partners was founded earlier this year following a spin-off of BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners. Its seeks to raise long-term capital to invest in alternative power generation projects focusing on proven technologies such as wind, biomass, solar and small-scale hydro across the UK and continental Europe. Glennmont’s investment approach dovetails with the EIB’s strategy to back only carefully selected, risk managed investments that aim to deliver sustained performance and predictable returns for investors.
The EIB’s investment will be directly injected into Glennmont’s second clean energy infrastructure fund which now has commitments of €250 million from both new and existing investors from its first fund.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
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Glennmont investor seminar London – long term security in regulation
On 14th November Glennmont held the latest in the series of investor seminars, focussing attention this time on the long term security of regulation supporting renewable energy. Lord Deben, the chair of the UK Government Climate Change Committee and a former Secretary of State for Environment spoke about the drivers behind UK regulation and the Acts of Parliament that define it. He described how renewable energy was necessary in order both to reduce the impact of climate change and also to provide security of power supply at a time when capacity margins are becoming very tight. He described how neither targets nor levels of support can be changed without rescinding the Climate Change Act, a piece of primary legislation that has near unanimous support in Parliament.
Michelle Davies, the Head of Alternative Energy at law firm Eversheds, spoke about trends in renewable energy investing and the European Policy measures that support it. She described the working of various support mechanisms across Europe and gave some clear insights into future trends in investing, where she predicted that onshore wind is likely to benefit from some slow down in offshore development in the UK.
Prior to the seminar Lord Deben gave some additional insights into the UK political support for renewable energy in a discussion with Peter Dickson. Both the interview and the highlights of the seminar can be seen by following the links below:
Short video clip with key opinions from Lord Deben: http://youtu.be/KcENGo73htg
Longer film showing a more rounded summary of both Lord Deben and Michelle Davies: http://youtu.be/rbKsXFqMyFo
The Interview with Lord Deben in full: http://youtu.be/UoBgpISoffE
Glennmont Seminar – Amsterdam – Transitioning to Clean Energy
Date: November 1, 2013
On 29th October, Glennmont organised a seminar for Dutch institutional investors about current opportunities in the clean energy sector. Mr Hans Alders – the President of Energie Nederland (the association for Dutch energy producers) shared his perspective. Mr Hans Alders is a former Minister of Environmental Affairs in the Netherlands and Chairman of PGGM, one of the largest Dutch Pension Funds. Mr Alders highlighted that a new energy agreement had just been reached in the Netherlands that would provide a clear path and strong ambition to meet EU 2020/20 growth. The Netherlands seeks to add both offshore and onshore wind capacity in the coming years. Mr Alders cited that the pace has already been enormous and that the share of clean energy would continue to grow in Europe. He estimated that over time, the traditional power sector would see significant changes with increased smart use of infrastructure and electricity consumption.
Mr Michel Chatelin – a partner at Everheds and specialist in the energy sector, provided an overview of European regulation. He emphasised that the system of feed in tariffs has worked in more than fifty countries globally and that it has been successful in bringing costs down over time. There continues to be large amounts of capital required to transition to a clean power sector but the regulation has been secure. This will help continue to attract institutional money into this growing sector.
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