Onshore wind firm is thriving thanks to ‘Brexit uncertainty’

Matthew Clayton, Thrive Renewables.
Matthew Clayton, Thrive Renewables.

Onshore wind investment firm Thrive Renewables amassed pre-tax profits of almost £4 million last year, which its managing director unusually puts down to “brexit uncertainty”.

The firm, which operates two onshore wind farms in Aberdeenshire, turned over £17m in 2018, a 7% increase on the previous year.

Matthew Clayton, Thrive’s MD, said the firm will look to grow its portfolio in future, but more importantly, repower what it already has.

He said: “Strangely, Brexit uncertainty has been a bit of a gift for us.

“As the pound has weakened against the Euro the imported cost of fossil fuels and electricity has gone up which has put pressure on the power prices and allowed us to sell for a bit more.

“We’ve also had quite a conscious push on reducing the cost of debt within our portfolio as well, so we tend to take out project finance to help our shareholders funds go as far as possible to achieve long term returns and emissions reductions.

“Growing our portfolio. The assets that we built in 2017 have meant we’ve benefited from the full year in 2018.”

Thrive Renewables operates the Clayfords Wind Farm near Strichen and Brotherton Wind Farm close to Johnshaven.

But Mr Clayton said his focus will be on extending the life of its Thrive’s older projects in the UK.

He said: “I think everyone is very aware that the subsidy free environment is an important one. We think it will slow growth but not stop growth.

“In the transitional phase it’s very much about continuing to build both generation and storage on a private basis, where we’re delivering or storing power and delivering it to the hosts.”

“There’s also a big focus on extending the life of the assets we’ve already got. Some of our assets are in their 21st year of generation, repowering will become a big part of what we do.

“Clayfords Wind Farm near Strichen and Brotherton Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire were only build in 2015, so they’re still youngsters in the portfolio.”

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