AIB is one of the first Irish companies to close such an agreement, which significantly helps deliver on its commitment to source 100% of its power requirements from certified renewable energy sources by 2030.
NTR plc, an Irish renewable energy company which invests in and manages infrastructure assets, will construct two solar farms in Enniscorthy and Gorey, County Wexford, which will provide 21.4 GWh of new renewable energy in the Irish grid. In addition to creating 80% of AIB Group’s electricity needs to service its 270 retail and office properties throughout the country, it will generate additional energy capacity into the national grid – a welcome contribution during the current challenging energy landscape.
The Pinsent Masons team advising AIB on the project finance agreement was led by Partners Garrett Monaghan and Ronan Lambe, assisted by Senior Associate John Scanlon.
Garrett Monaghan said: “This is a significant deal in the Irish energy and renewables sector –it goes far beyond ESG and represents compelling business sense. It is a breakthrough agreement from a leading and household Irish name to commit to a long-term corporate power offtake. AIB is leading the way in terms of sustainability and we are delighted to have advised them on securing this landmark transaction, which, in addition to contributing to the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan, ensures a secure sustainable energy supply at a fixed price for 15 years.”
AIB CEO Colin Hunt said: “Sustainability is a key strategic priority for AIB as we seek to help protect our fragile planet from the devastating impact of climate change by reducing our own carbon footprint and helping our customers to do the same. We are delighted to partner with NTR on this innovative project to enable two new solar farms to be built in Ireland, guaranteeing that the electricity we use to power AIB’s own operations will be certified to a fully traceable renewable solar energy source. It is also a key enabler to help us achieve our target to be net zero on our own operations by 2030. As we launch AIB’s Sixth Sustainability Conference today, our message is that we have no time to waste in tackling climate change which is the greatest challenge facing our generation.’’
The Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan has set a target of increasing the share of electricity demand generated from renewable sources by 2030 to up to 80%.