Ørsted to develop 400MW of Irish solar energy

18 Sep 2023

Image: © PriceM/Stock.adobe.com

The energy company said these new solar projects have the potential to power more than 90,000 Irish homes when completed.

Ørsted, the Danish-headquartered energy company, has teamed up with renewable energy developer Terra Solar to develop a new portfolio of solar energy projects in Ireland.

The total capacity of these projects is expected to be 400MW upon completion, which Ørsted said is enough to power more than 90,000 Irish homes. Ørsted said the new deal boosts its Irish portfolio of solar projects to more than 600MW.

The two companies said that the solar projects are targeted for completion ahead of 2030, in line with the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan target of 8GW of solar energy by the end of the decade.

Ørsted is already partnered with NovaUCD-headquartered Terra Solar on another Irish solar project. In March, the two companies teamed up to work on the Garreenleen solar farm project, which has a potential to add a total of 160MW to the national grid.

Ørsted senior director of development and operations in the UK and Ireland, TJ Hunter, said the development of these projects will contribute to the company’s global goal of having 17.5GW of onshore renewables by 2030.

“Solar energy is an essential component for enabling the Irish power system to run entirely on green energy,” Hunter said. “Ireland has seen several amber alerts on warm summer days with low wind speeds, the cost of electricity is too high due to over-reliance on fossil fuel, and the carbon intensity of Ireland’s electricity is among the highest in Europe.

“To solve these issues and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we need to grow solar energy in parallel with onshore wind, offshore wind and energy storage.”

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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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic