Statkraft begins work on 34MW solar project with Microsoft

22 May 2023

From left: Eoin Doherty and Kourtney Nelson of Microsoft, Minister of State Dara Calleary and Statkraft senior VP Kevin O’Donovan. Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Statkraft signed a CPPA with Microsoft last year to supply 366MW of clean energy from six projects.

Norway-headquartered renewable energy company Statkraft has turned the sod in Meath, as the company begins work on its latest solar project.

The Harlockstown solar project is expected to produce 34MW of energy when completed, which is enough to power roughly 9,000 homes. The Statkraft site will be used to supply Microsoft with clean renewable energy.

Statkraft signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) package with Microsoft at the end of 2022. Under this deal, Statkraft Ireland will supply the tech giant with 366MW of clean energy from six projects – three solar sites and three wind sites.

CPPAs enable corporations to take renewable electricity directly from a renewable electricity generator in support of Ireland’s climate goals. The country’s latest Climate Action Plan includes a target of 15pc of electricity demand to be delivered from renewable energy CPPAs by 2030.

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary, TD, said the deal is an “important initiative” and renewable energy has a very important role in our “fight to protect the planet”.

“Our future is both green and digital, and how we manage data will be crucial to our decarbonisation ambitions,” Calleary said.

“CPPAs have a real role to play in supporting Ireland’s renewable energy and climate targets, and I believe can be an important mechanism to support the wider system changes necessary in the electricity sector to deliver lasting benefits to households, businesses and local communities.”

Statkraft senior VP Kevin O’Donovan said every installed solar panel will help Ireland import “less polluting and costly fossil fuel” and provide future energy security.

“There is no magic formula when it comes to climate action and meeting our 2030 targets. It will require a range of rapidly deployed technologies and solutions all working in harmony to decarbonise our electricity supply,” O’Donovan said.

Statkraft first entered the Irish market in 2018. Since then it has overseen renewable energy projects across solar, battery, grid and onshore wind, as well as offshore wind.

Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to deliver its Irish offshore wind projects.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic