Ireland’s ESB to power 10% of homes with solar thanks to new partnership


Irish utility ESB and the Irish-owned renewable energy company, Harmony Solar, have announced a multi-million Euro partnership to develop ground-mounted solar projects in Ireland, which will see 10% of the country’s population powered by solar energy.

Phase one will develop Harmony Solar’s existing 300MW portfolio primarily in Wexford and Kildare, with further phases on track to develop a total portfolio of over 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects.

The development pipeline of the partnership will see an initial capital investment of €30 million, with further investment in the medium to long term as the pipeline comes to fruition.

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Solar energy is a key part of ESB’s Brighter Future strategy which seeks to shift electricity generation away from fossil fuels by developing renewable projects of scale, and in doing so, lead the transition to a low carbon energy future based on clean, reliable and affordable electricity.

Harmony Solar’s Chairman, John McEneaney says “Irish-owned and with a shared organisational ethos and value system, ESB is now a strategic partner in bringing our current solar projects with planning permission to realisation, and ultimately in delivering on our commitments to our landowners. We are looking forward to working together and we are confident that this partnership will further add to our ability to deliver solar power to even more Irish homes in the future.”

Currently most of the country’s renewable energy is generated from onshore wind. The agreement will enhance Ireland’s ability to reach future renewable energy targets and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 360,000 tonnes per year when the development pipeline is fully operational.

For the moment, Harmony Solar and ESB continue with business as usual, undertaking desk-based work on their development pipeline. Any site-based work in the coming months will be undertaken entirely in line with Government requirements around social distancing.

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