- Ireland has selected a total of 646 MW onshore renewable energy capacity in RESS 3 round
- Solar won the largest chunk in the auction where average winning bid was determined as €100.47/MWh
- The government said the auction volumes, lower than the previous round, show there is work to be done to reduce delays in project realization
- The 4th auction round will be launched in 2024, with a larger capacity
Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) round 3 has concluded with solar winning 497.6 MW capacity, while onshore wind energy bagged 148.4 MW. The provisional results announced by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) show the average weighted winning bid rose to €100.47/MWh, as against €97.87/MWh in the previous round.
The price increase over the previous round is attributed to underlying inflationary pressures and interest rate increases.
Of the 36 project applications for this round, 33 were qualified to compete with the EirGrid finally selecting 23 projects. Largest among these is 101.1 MW Tracytown Solar Park of ESB Solar (Ireland).
The unsuccessful projects made up 247.65 MW capacity, distributed as 223.65 MW solar and 24 MW onshore wind. In comparison, 1.534 GW solar and 414 MW onshore wind capacity was selected under RESS 2 round in May 2022 (see Ireland Selects 1.9 GW+ Under RESS 2 Auction).
The department explained, “RESS 3 requires accelerated delivery by developers; unfortunately not as many projects were capable of that as was expected. It is critical that industry and system operators work together to reduce the delays in project realization. Of the over 3 GW of projects in possession of grid connection offers and eligible to compete in RESS 3, just under 1 GW applied to compete in the auction.”
It believes the auction volumes underpin the need for a larger pipeline of onshore wind and solar projects coming through the grid connection and permitting processes.
Additionally, the department points out the auction results show the local plans and renewable energy targets need to be in greater alignment to support delivery of renewable energy projects.
The details of the auction results and winning projects are available on EirGrid’s website.
Ireland is set to launch the 4th RESS round in 2024 which will be much larger, as part of its plans to launch a minimum of 5 onshore auctions between 2020 and 2025 to meet the country’s 2030 climate targets.