€140m partnership signed to bring 20 solar parks to Irish coasts

18 Jan 2018

Image: foxbat/Shutterstock

Ireland’s solar capacity is set to jump by 140MW with the announcement of a €140m development partnership.

A major solar boost could be coming to the island of Ireland after the Hamburg-based solar and wind park operator Capital Stage announced it has entered a partnership with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to co-invest in a third party, Power Capital.

Worth an estimated €140m, the partnership will see investment in Power Capital’s portfolio of 20 solar parks (that have yet to be developed) with a total generating capacity of 140MW.

The individual parks will range in size between 5MW and 25MW and will stretch along the east and south-east coast of Ireland, from Louth to west Cork.

With planning permission secured for 110MW of the development, the remaining sites are expected to be confirmed by the end of Q1 2018.

This marks the first time that ISIF has committed to financing solar park developments in the country.

“Today marks a significant step forward in the lifetime of this ambitious and exciting project,” said Power Capital’s co-founder, Peter Duff.

“It rubberstamps a major commitment from ISIF and from Capital Stage, whose input and investment will help us progress this high-quality pipeline of solar parks along Ireland’s east and south-west coasts. Their commitment to this project is not just a vote of confidence in Power Capital, but also in the solar market in Ireland generally, which is currently on an upward trajectory.”

Major solar investments in Ireland

This latest announcement comes a year to the day that a similar major solar investment was announced between BNRG Renewables and French renewable energy group Neoen to construct 23 solar projects in Ireland.

Construction is expected to commence in mid-2018 with the final projects to be built by 2020.

In September of last year, KPMG published a report on the potential benefits for solar energy in Ireland with estimates that the industry could reasonably deploy over 3,750MW of solar from now to 2030.

If this is followed, the solar industry could sustain more than 7,300 jobs as Ireland strives – albeit with significant difficulty – in achieving its 2020 renewable energy targets.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic