Ørsted and Terra Solar to develop 400MW of new solar power in Ireland

Ørsted is looking to expand the capacity of its solar portfolio in Ireland to 600MW. Image: Ørsted

Danish renewables firm Ørsted and Irish energy developer Terra Solar have agreed to develop a new 400MW portfolio of solar power projects in Ireland.

While the companies did not specify where in Ireland the projects would be built, Ørsted noted that it expects them to come online before 2030. The company also noted that some decisions still need to be made regarding the portfolio, including how and to whom it would sell power.

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The deal will see the company increase its portfolio of Irish solar projects to 600MW, following the signing of two separate agreements with Terra Solar in recent years.

In August 2022, Ørsted acquired Terra Solar’s 65MW Ballinrea project, in the city of Cork, which it expects to come online in 2025. In March this year, Ørsted then acquired Terra Solar’s 160MW Garrenleen project, which will reach commercial operation in two stages, one in 2025 and one in 2026, as Ørsted looks to expand its footprint into the Irish solar sector.

“Solar energy is an essential component for enabling the Irish power system to run entirely on green energy,” said TJ Hunter, senior director of development and operations in the UK and Ireland at Ørsted. “Ireland has seen several amber alerts on warm summer days with low wind speeds, the cost of electricity is too high due to over-reliance on fossil fuels, and the carbon intensity of Ireland’s electricity is among the highest in Europe.

“To solve these issues and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we need to grow solar energy in parallel with onshore wind, offshore wind, and energy storage.”

Ørsted already boasts a considerable wind portfolio in the country, with 378MW of capacity installed, and 592.7MW of additional capacity set to come online by 2029. The company has made increasingly ambitious investments in renewable power in the region, acquiring a 740MW solar project still under construction in the neighbouring UK, as it looks to expand its renewable capacity in the area.

The news is a positive development for the European solar sector, which last week expressed widespread concern about the financial viability of solar manufacturing in Europe.

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