Solar 21 eyes green bonds for refinance – but no new details on delayed repayments


Renewable energy developer Solar 21 has told its investors that it could refinance its existing assets using green bonds, but provided no new detail in the update about the repayments that have been delayed to Irish backers of one key project.

n an investor update, the Rathcoole, Co Dublin-based loan note specialist said its UK team was currently carrying out a detailed review of the EFW 21 development – a major waste-to-energy plant in the UK – with project consultants, engineers and commercial advisers.

The news came as Solar 21, which did not respond to a request for comment, revealed that it had progressed plans to expand its project portfolio “on an unprecedented scale” with a £1bn green energy park in North Lincolnshire.

In February, the Sunday Independent revealed that Solar 21 was seeking “financing solutions” after delaying repayments of the EFW 21 loan notes as they come due to Irish investors – from whom Solar 21 had raised up €250m for the delayed UK renewable energy project.

Solar 21 has previously said that efforts to secure a refinancing deal for the project faced “various pressures”, including from the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine. In its latest update, the firm said that the project would “require an update to some of the environmental assessments and existing layout drawings”.

“The revised layout will need to be considered by the local authority, and this will take a minimum of 16 weeks from submission.”

The firm said that “significant commencement has been achieved, which is a prerequisite to the major works starting on site and also means that the current planning permission will be permanently secured – ie, it will not expire.”

Planning permission had been due to expire in February, it is understood. The update to investors contained photographs of what were described as “temporary haul roads” and the commencement of a permanent access road. Solar 21 said in its investor update that it had a project pipeline of £3.5bn and was preparing to submit a planning application for the green energy park in North Lincolnshire.

The investor update said that “a green bond strategy may fulfil multiple financing objectives, firstly to finance large scale projects such as the North Lincolnshire Green Energy Park, and secondly it may potentially enable Solar 21 to optimise and refinance its current portfolio of assets.”

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