Gilkes completes small hydro project refinancing with eye toward expansion

European developer Gilkes Energy Ltd. has raised more than US$60 million by refinancing the debt of part of its small hydropower portfolio, with the purpose of upgrading existing projects and acquiring more assets.

The refinancing, provided by Aberdeen Standard Investments, was the second part of an initiative that began with an equity raise from the company’s shareholders, according to Gilkes Energy director Carl Crompton.

“This two-phase approach is superior to attempting to raise debt-finance for the initial construction phase which would be more expensive and slower,” Crompton said. “The net result is a very low-cost finance with interest rate certainty for the long-term.”

The projects are all included in the Scottish Highlands and include the Ben Glas, Kendrum, Loch an Laoigh, Strathan and Uisge Dubh. The facilities have a cumulative output capacity of 10.5 MW.

“This marks a significant milestone for Gilkes Energy in that we have no raised more than $174.6 million of capital associated with our growing portfolio of hydro projects,” Crompton said.

The Kendal-based subsidiary of Gilkes Gilbert & Gordon Ltd. operates two dozen small hydro facilities, with other recent group projects including an installation at Scotland’s Blair CastleCallander and Culligran Estateamongst others. The company did not specify which plants the refinancing might be applied toward.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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