Irish utility backs 11 PV projects selected in Ireland’s first renewables auction


Irish power utility Bord Gáis Energy has announced it will support Danish developer Obton in the development and construction of 11 solar projects selected in the country's first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction, finalized in August 2020.

“All the projects are under the same 15-year power purchase agreement with a single off-taker, which is Irish grid operator Eirgrid,” a spokesperson from the utility told pv magazine.

The facilities will have a combined capacity of 118 MW and will be located in the counties of Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Longford, Galway, Offaly, Meath and Tipperary. The projects will be built by ‘Shannon Energy powered by Obton,' which is a joint venture between Obton and Irish company Shannon Energy. Their completion is expected by 2022.

In Ireland’s first renewable energy auction, solar secured 796.3 MW of generation capacity, versus 479.2 MW for wind, and undershot the average electricity price across the whole exercise with a mean PV figure that was €1.16/MWh lower.

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Project developers secured feed-in premiums to top up the wholesale power price for 14-16.5 years, depending on project delivery dates.

The auction was part of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which started taking shape in September 2017 and was approved by the government in December 2019. A second round of the RESS, to procure a further 3 TWh of clean power, is planned this year.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Ireland had an installed solar power of approximately 40 MW at the end of 2020.

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