Ørsted acquires its second Irish solar project in Carlow

16 Mar 2023

TJ Hunter. Image: Patrick Harrison

Ørsted already operates 360MW of onshore wind in Ireland producing enough power for 230,000 homes. It wants to add the Carlow farm to its portfolio.

Ørsted, the Danish-headquartered energy company, has said it has entered into an agreement with renewable energy developer Terra Solar that will see it acquire its second Irish solar project.

This project is Garreenleen solar farm, and it has a potential to add a total of 160MW to the national grid. Once completed, the farm could power up to 56,000 homes across Ireland. It is located a few kilometres outside Carlow town.

The first phase of the project will target 81MW to be delivered by 2025, while the second phase of 79MW will target a 2026 completion.

However, these targets are all subject to Ørsted’s final investment decision. If the investment goes through, the project will contribute to Ørsted’s global goal of 17.5GW of onshore renewables by 2030.

The company has an established operation in Ireland, with its country headquarters in Cork. It employs 100 people there.

Ørsted’s first solar farm in Ireland is also located in Cork. The Ballinrea solar farm in Carrigaline is due to be operational by 2025. When it is completed, it will power up to 16,000 homes.

Ørsted already operates 360MW of onshore wind in Ireland producing enough power for 230,000 homes.

Commenting on the move to acquire the Carlow project, Ørsted’s senior director of onshore in Ireland and the UK, TJ Hunter, said that the company is “committed to multi-technology deployment, investing in a variety of renewable energy sources to ensure reliability and independence of supply”

Hunter said that when it is completed it will be “one of the most significant solar farms in the country.”

As well as its investments in solar renewables, Ørsted is heavily involved in wind energy. In January 2022, it said it was developing a 16MW wind farm in Co Antrim that will supply energy to Amazon. It acquired the onshore wind farm in June 2021.

This development followed the company’s acquisition of a 100pc equity stake in Brookfield Renewable Ireland as part of its strategy to turn its focus towards the European wind market.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.