Joint Venture To Promote Solar In Ireland

Irish Electricity Supply Board And Partner Plan Large-Scale Solar Plants For 150,000 Homes
  • Irish Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Bord na Mona plan a joint venture to develop solar power
  • These projects would be spread out in four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare
  • Large scale solar energy projects will be developed in strategic locations across the Midlands using Bord na Mona's land bank in these places
  • With these projects, around 150,000 homes and businesses can expect to be powered by solar energy

Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has announced forming a joint venture with Bord na Mona to develop solar power systems in four locations in the country. The four locations will be identified in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare.

While no details were shared regarding capacity or timeline, an ESB release hinted that these will be large scale solar energy projects. The joint venture will access part of Bord na Mona's land bank in strategic locations across the Midlands to develop the projects.

Bord na Mona is an Irish semi-state owned company with interests in power generation, biomass, resource recovery, among others.

"We have already an established position in the solar market in Ireland, with both ground mounted and rooftop solar projects under development," said ESB's CEO Pat O'Doherty. Adding, "ESB's deep relationship with Bord na Móna in the Midlands spans decades. This new partnership – with the potential to power 150,000 homes and businesses – reinforces our confidence in solar to help Ireland meet its carbon reduction targets beyond 2020."

Ireland is looking at diversifying its renewable base to include more solar energy among other sources. As of now, wind power dominates the country's renewable energy landscape.

"Community consultation will be placed at the heart of the project," said said Mike Quinn, CEO of Bord na Mona. Adding, "From our long history of working together in communities right across Ireland, Bord na Móna and ESB bring considerable expertise and knowledge in delivering best in class community engagement around our projects, ensuring a clear commitment to open and transparent engagement with households adjacent to any proposed development."

Quinn believes, that "The solar industry, although in its infancy here in Ireland, has the potential to form an important part of Ireland's future energy mix in the medium to long term."

Last year in October, ESB took a minority stake in Irish solar company Terra Solar (see ESB Of Ireland Strengthens Solar Portfolio).

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