Bord na Móna and Ireland’s state-owned power utility, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), have kicked off a tender to select an EPC contractor for a large-scale project the two companies are developing in Ireland.
The project will have a capacity of 90 MW (DC) and will be built near Timahoe North, in County Kildare, eastern Ireland. The plant is expected to occupy a brownfield site with a gross area of approximately 800 acres, owned by the Bord na Móna group.
“The purpose of this prequalification process is to establish a shortlist of suitable candidates with the required capability to successfully provide the contracting entity’s requirements, who will subsequently be invited to take part in the tender stage of the procurement competition,” Bord na Móna said in the tender document.
Interested EPC contractors have until Sept. 3 to prequalify for the procurement exercise.
Bord na Móna and ESB first announced plans to jointly expand into solar in February 2017, although ESB made its first PV investment in 2016, when it spent €2.5 million to acquire a majority stake in Ireland’s Terra Solar.
“This strategic investment will see the development of multiple solar PV farms within Ireland in the future, which will result in a lower carbon footprint and contribute to increased energy production from renewable sources,” the utility said at the time.
Despite strong development momentum for solar parks across the country, the Irish government currently does not provide any incentives for large-scale PV. It has yet to conduct auctions for large-scale renewables, although it introduced a new procurement scheme last year. The first 1 GW technology-neutral auction is scheduled to launch this year, with an additional 15 GW of renewable capacity to be allocated through four more auctions planned through 2025. So far, the government is only granting incentives in support of PV microgeneration for self-consumption.
The Irish solar landscape could grow to around 3.7 GW by 2030, the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) said in a recent report. According to the latest statistics released from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Ireland had a cumulative installed PV capacity of just 29 MW at the end of 2018, on 13 MW of new capacity additions last year.