Irish wind specialist SSE Airtricity expands into solar

Ireland-based SSE Airtricity, the renewable arm of Scottish and Southern Energy Group, has agreed to acquire a 40% interest in Irish residential and commercial solar installer, Activ8 Solar Energies.

The agreement includes the option for SSE Airtricity to buy another 10% stake in the company, two years after the closing of the deal, which must now be approved by Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to SSE Airtricity, Activ8 Solar currently has around 40 employees, and a record of around 7,000 installed solar power systems. Furthermore, Activ8 Solar Energies was selected in 2016 by SSE Airtricity Energy Services as a preferred partner in the delivery of SEAI-supported domestic and community-based retrofit schemes.

“Activ8 is one of the leading rooftop solar companies in Ireland, and since 2016 our two companies have worked in partnership to deliver large-scale deep retrofit projects, whether under the Better Energy Communities programme or with innovative energy-generating installations such as our roof-mounted solar PV array at The SSE Arena, Belfast,” SSE Airtricity said in a press release.

SSE Airtricity currently owns an operational portfolio of 28 onshore wind farms with a combined generation capacity of 768 MW in Ireland. Furthermore, the company has PPAs in place with third party renewable energy generators for over 300 MW of wind and solar-sourced power on the island.

As for the solar PPA, local newspaper, Irish Times reports that SSE Airtricity secured a 15-year contract to buy power from a 44 MW PV plant under development by Germany company, Baywa in Rasharkin, northern Ireland.