Irish renewable energy company Gaelectric has raised $18m (Eur13.4m) from European private equity sources to fund part of its operations in the US. Gaelectric has used the money to book transmission capacity of 960 megawatts on networks in western US which will be used to deliver electricity from wind farms the company is developing in Montana. The electricity, which is sufficient to power 300,000 homes, is expected to start flowing generated between 2014 and 2016.
“States like Montana, which have high quality wind regimes and that have historically confronted sizeable transmission development barriers, will now realise that value in a shorter timeframe,” says Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Gaelelectric. “The fact that we have raised this finance against the backdrop of a difficult fundraising environment is a strong vote of confidence in Gaelectric’s overall vision and strategy. Gaelectric is the first wind developer in Montana to book transmission capacity at a scale which will allow renewable power to be exported from some of Montana’s highest wind energy sites directly to markets in the Pacific Northwest.”