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Renewable Energy M&A: CIP enters the Irish renewables market through the acquisition of a 50% stake in Statkraft’s $4bn offshore wind development portfolio

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  • Jan 18, 2023

The acquisition is for stakes in three phases of the North Irish Sea Array (NISA) and the Bore Array, proposed in the Irish Celtic Sea. The projects are in early-to-intermediate stages of development with commercial operation anticipated between 2026-2030. The acquired projects have a combined capacity of 2.2 GW, with the most mature project among the lot being the 500 MW NISA I offshore wind farm. The transaction marks CIP’s fifth investment through its $7.5bn CI IV fund, which was closed in Apr '21, and the second offshore wind investment since its entry into the 500 MW Fengmiao offshore wind project in Taiwan in Dec’22.

The NISA project was first initiated by Ireland-based renewable developer Gaelectric in 2009. Though the company carried out several studies and received a foreshore site investigation license for the project, they could not advance it. In 2019, Statkraft assumed ownership of the project after conducting initial consultations and feasibility. NISA I is eligible to bid in the Irish Government’s first Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction (ORESS) in 2023. Meanwhile, the company initiated feasibility studies for the ~500 MW Bore Array beginning in late 2022. The partnership will benefit from Statkraft’s long-standing local presence in Ireland and CIP’s international offshore wind investment, development, and construction experience. Copenhagen Offshore Partners, CIP’s exclusive partner for offshore wind activities, will co-lead development operations at the projects.

CIP has been at the forefront of private equity firms involved in the offshore wind sector. The company announced its plan to invest over $115bn in renewable expansion by 2030, at last year’s COP26 summit. The plan primarily focuses on offshore wind, which constitutes one-third of the firm’s current development pipeline. CIP currently has an operational offshore wind project in Germany - the 402 MW Veja Mate wind farm - co-owned with Highland Group and Siemens Financial Services. The company’s other projects include the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 in the US, co-owned with Iberdrola subsidiary Avangrid and the 589 MW Changfang & Xidao in Taiwan, co-owned with two Taiwanese insurance companies. The projects are currently under construction, with commercial operations expected by 2023 and 2024, respectively. CIP has also recently created a partnership with Orsted for the development of 5.2 GW of offshore wind projects in Denmark. 

The above analysis is proprietary to Enerdatics’ energy analytics team, based on the current understanding of the available data. The information is subject to change and should not be taken to constitute professional advice or a recommendation.


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