ESB and Harmony Solar agree €30m deal to build Irish solar farms

Ireland’s solar capacity is set to grow over the next decade, with a new project that aims to power 230,000 homes by 2030. ESB and Irish-owned company Harmony Solar have confirmed a deal, initially worth €30m, that will see the pair develop solar projects that can deliver 1,000MW of electricity.

Phase one of the development will see Harmony Solar’s existing planned sites of 300MW in Wexford and Kildare upgraded in capacity to 1,000MW.

“We already have an established position in the solar market in Ireland, with both ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects under development,” said Jim Dollard, executive director for ESB Generation and Trading.

“This agreement with Harmony Solar represents another significant milestone, bolstering the company’s solar portfolio and our wider ambition in developing renewable electricity generation projects of scale.”

Growth of solar

Chair of Wexford-based Harmony Solar, John McEneaney, added: “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.”

While wind energy remains the dominant source of renewable electricity generation in Ireland, solar energy’s presence is set to grow significantly over the coming years.

In January, it was revealed that a partnership between Shannon Energy and Danish firm Obton would see the pair spend €300m to develop solar farms in Ireland. The farms are set to produce a total of 500MW of electricity using specially manufactured solar cells. Sites in Cork, Galway, Longford, Tipperary and Westmeath have all been selected as likely solar farm locations with a capacity of 150MW.