The scheme is now under public consultation and is aimed at enabling citizens, farmers, business owners, and community organizations to sell excess solar power to the grid.
The government has announced the provisional results of the nation’s first renewable energy procurement exercise and says the 1 TWh auction will end up allocating more than 2.2 TWh of generation capacity for an average final electric price of €0.07408/kWh.
Danish developer Obton and Ireland’s Shannon Energy have promised to develop the projects within five years. Total investment is expected to be around €300 million and the companies have already acquired projects with a combined generation capacity of 150 MW.
Solar is included among the competing sources but with a maximum quota of only 10%. Around 13,500 GWh will be allocated across five rounds under the new scheme, which is still subject to EU state aid approval. Community-led projects will be allowed to participate from the second round, with a bonus of €2/MWh.
The Norwegian power company acquired the projects for around $17.3 million. The transaction indicates interest in large scale solar is on the rise in Ireland and unsubsidized projects are viable.
Originally intended to commission 140 MW of storage, the tender drew three winning projects: a 50 MW system and two 30 MW facilities. Eirgrid has estimated the total value of the contracts at around €6 million per year.
Ireland appears ready to embrace PV after years of failed announcements. Globaldata predicts the EU member state will deploy around 1.3 GW of solar by 2030, with renewables potentially meeting 65% of electricity demand. Furthermore, Irish Water has announced it wants to deploy solar at its water treatment plants.
The wind power specialist has started prequalifying EPCs for the ground-mounted solar plant, which will be built near Timahoe North, County Kildare.
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