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Ballygarvey Road solar farm, developed by Elgin Energy, is operational in Northern Ireland. Image: Elgin Energy.

Ballygarvey Road solar farm, developed by Elgin Energy, is operational in Northern Ireland. Image: Elgin Energy.

Solar projects have scooped nearly 800MW of contracts from Ireland’s first Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS), smashing all expectations.

The RESS auction had been expected to grant just 10% of its capacity to solar PV, equivalent to somewhere in the region of 100 – 300MW. However the asset class swept aside competing technologies, landing just over a third (34%) of the overall auction volume.

A total of 63 projects with a total generating capacity of 796MW were successful, winning at an average strike price of €72.92/MWh (US$86.52/MWh).

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Eamon Ryan TD, said that whilst developer-led onshore wind has been the most cost effective technology available to Ireland to date, "solar and community owned energy projects will play a critical role in diversifying our renewable generation portfolio for the period out to 2030".

For more on this story, visit sister publication Solar Power Portal.

Tags: ireland, ress, auction, utility-scale solar

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