Lightsource, a U.K.-based solar energy developer, has applied to the Meath County Council in Ireland for planning permission to build a 70 MW solar farm.
If granted, the plant would be by far the largest single solar array in Ireland, and also the largest in the British Isles. A 129-hectare plot of land has been identified in Dunboyne, and Lightsource has confirmed to pv magazine that the expected investment cost is likely to reach €60 million.
“Solar energy can provide a major boost for the local and national economy,” said Lightsource’s head of development for Ireland Nick Robb. “Availability of a secure source of renewable energy will be an important driver for investment from multinational companies in the coming years, helping to grow employment in south Meath and beyond.”
Robb added that solar can play a large role in helping Ireland to close the gap towards meeting its EU renewable energy targets – the country is one of only a handful of EU members that are in danger of missing their 2025 and 2030 targets on carbon emission reduction and renewable energy uptake.
Lightsource was also able to confirm to pv magazine that there is currently no timeline on construction or completion of the proposed solar farm. The developer has seven solar farms totaling 38 MW of capacity under its belt in Northern Ireland, and has already secured planning permission for a 20 MW solar farm in the Republic of Ireland near Tipperary. A further PV project is in the works for east Cork, in the very south of Ireland.