Lightsource bp unveils plans for solar-plus-storage in Ireland


Lightsource bp has outlined a proposal to fund, develop and build a 57 MW solar and 54 MW energy storage facility near Kells, County Meath, eastern Ireland.  The proposed solar installation will provide enough renewable energy to power 21,300 homes, said the company.

The facility will be built on open grassland on a 74-hectare site. Lightsource bp is planning a bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan in conjunction with the planning application, to “ensure the plan enhances the site as much as possible for local wildlife.”

The site’s proposed layout will leave wide grassy avenues between the rows of solar panels. Lightsource bp said that this will reduce shading to optimize the amount of sunlight each row of panels receives. It will also leave around 70% of the solar installation as open grassland, to support grazing livestock while the panels provide shade, shelter and protection for sheep, geese or chickens.

A community event is scheduled for May 22 for residents in the surrounding area to gather further information on the proposals.

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“We want to ensure that local communities in and around the proposed location have all the information they need about this project,” said Aidan Collins, the company’s head of environmental planning UK and Ireland. “We’re holding this information event to speak to elected representatives, local businesses and residents of the local community, and to gather feedback.”

Ireland had deployed 738 MW of solar by the end of 2023, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency. It has set a target of reaching 8 GW by 2030, as part of an aim for 80% of its energy market to come from renewables by the end of the decade. 

Lightsource bp claims to have developed more than 8.4 GW of solar across 19 markets to date. It secured financing for a 560 MW solar project in Greece in April.

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