Solar projects integral to diversifying renewable energy supply
Leading global renewable energy company Ørsted has today announced the acquisition of its first Irish solar project, in an agreement with renewable energy developer Terra Solar. This acquisition is a strategic first step in Ørsted’s commitment to multi-technology deployment in Ireland across a variety of renewable energy sources.
The acquisition of the Ballinrea solar project, located between Carrigaline and Cork City, will power up to 16,000 homes. With construction due to begin in 2024, the Ballinrea Solar Farm is expected to be operational by 2025 and will add a further 65MW of solar to Ørsted’s global goal of 17.5GW of onshore renewables by 2030. Ranked the world’s most sustainable energy company, Ørsted’s Irish headquarters are based in Cork City, where it employs 90 people.
Kieran White, Vice President, Ørsted Europe Onshore said: “For Ireland to ensure energy resilience and deliver its 2030 energy targets, it is essential that multiple technologies are delivered in tandem, from solar and onshore wind to offshore wind and storage. This is a key priority for Ørsted, both in Ireland and overseas. Projects such as Ballinrea pave the way, but significant investment in our electricity grid is required to match the ambition of Government targets, continue the push to net zero and ensure energy security long-term.”
“The Ballinrea Solar Farm will make a meaningful contribution to Ireland’s national energy target of 80% renewables by 2030 as well as to the Government’s new 5.5GW solar target. It will also enhance the climate neutrality of the region by generating power for 16,000 homes, which is also the number of new homes planned to be built in the city between now and 2028.”
The transaction marks a significant milestone for Ørsted following the acquisition of the Brookfield Renewable Ireland business in June 2021.
Concluding, Mr White added: “We are continuing to invest in our Cork-based team and development projects to grow our existing Irish operational asset base of 327MW. As well as the cost and security of energy, the ever-present climate crisis has never been more acute. It is essential that Government and stakeholders continue to work collaboratively with industry to ensure that it can deliver environmentally, socially and economically for Ireland. Issues such as long planning, licencing and judicial timelines, and access to adequate grid infrastructure continue to hold the renewable sector back.”