Greencoat to be U.K.’s Biggest Wind-Energy IPO

Greencoat U.K. Wind plans to raise $321 million in the British wind industry’s largest initial public offering to date, reports Bloomberg.

Proceeds from the IPO will go toward purchasing wind-power assets from utility companies.  Electric and gas provider SSE has agreed to invest 67 million dollars. The British government has pledged 76 million dollars toward Greencoat shares.  The company will list on the London Stock Exchange in March.

Greencoat, established in late 2012, is likely to benefit from a U.K. program that pays subsidies to clean-power generators for 20 years.  The subsidies are a way for the U.K. to get 30 percent of its power from renewable sources by the end of the decade.  Renewables only account for 12 percent now.

The stock sale means Greencoat won’t use project-finance debt for its first purchases, in a market where fewer banks are willing to lend on longer terms.

The IPO is good news for the British wind industry, which had been battling lawmakers in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, also argue wind farms are inefficient and too heavily subsidized.

Local communities also complain that massive wind farms are ruining rural landscapes and costing them money. Eddie Martin, the local Conservative leader in Cumbria wrote to John Hayes, a Tory energy minster, pleading for the Government to drop its fixation with turbines because the area has reached the saturation point.

Martin said local communities feel powerless to stop wind farms being built in their areas.  Moreover, district councils in Cumbria struggle because it costs them up to $76,000 when they lose planning appeals against unwanted turbines.

To read the complete Bloomberg story, click here

To read the Telegraph story, click here


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