Solar PV takes more than half of Irish grid connection offers, 1.5GW set to be connected


A 9MW solar farm in Northern Ireland that was developed by Elgin Energy. Image: Elgin Energy.

Solar PV has been the big winner in the latest grid connection offers in Ireland via the country’s enduring connection policy (ECP) process, with a total of 1,533MW of solar capacity to be connected.

Irish grid operators Eirgrid and ESB Networks released the full list of renewable energy projects to receive grid connection offers in Ireland. In total, 85 projects – representing 2,897MW – are due to receive connection offers under Category A of ECP 2.2, with the second stage of the ECP (ECP 2) being split into three batches of connection offers (ECP 2.1, ECP 2.2 and ECP 2.3).

Of these, 61 are solar PV with a collective capacity of 1,533MW, representing 53% of total capacity under offer. There are also two battery storage projects with a collective capacity of 150MW, and 6 hybrid solar-plus-storage sites consisting of 325MW of solar and 441MW of battery storage.

This includes a 185MW hybrid solar-plus-storage site in Louth under development from Strategic Power Projects. The Monvallet project is split into 50MW of PV and 135MW of battery storage, with the storage element to provide system services and security of supply to the grid.

Strategic Power Projects is currently collaborating with Gresham House to develop a solar and storage pipeline with a combined capacity of over 1GW, with these to be located across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Other solar projects due to receive a grid connection offer include the 154MW hybrid Rosspile2 Solar Plus Storage Facility under development from Highfield Solar, the 75MW Fieldstown Solar site being developed by Energia Solar Holdings, the 46MW Carriglong Solar Park being developed by ESB Solar (Ireland) and the 50MW Monart East Solar Farm developed by Engie Developments Ireland Limited.

Engie have a handful of PV sites on the list, including the 19MW Poulbautia Solar Farm, the 19MW Lissane West Solar Farm, the 14MW Berrings Solar Farm, the 6MW Farranmacedmond Solar Farm, the 6MW Gibbonstown Solar Farm, the 5MW Islanduane Solar Farm, the 4MW Ardnadoman Solar Farm, the 10MW Ballynash Bishop Solar Farm and the 14MW Ballyboughlin Solar Farm.

The two battery storage sites are the 60MW Ardagh South Energy Storage Facility under development from Avolta Storage and the Kilmannock Battery Storage Facility Phase 2, which is owned by Gore Street Energy Storage Fund.

In 2020, Gore Street announced its plans to expand the capacity of Kilmanock, as well as its 30MW Porterstown battery storage project.

The remainder of the 81 projects breaks down into 11 wind (345MW), one gas (100MW) and four hybrid wind and battery (7MW battery, 2MW wind). The full list of projects – which Eirgrid said may change should projects not proceed with their application or no longer be deemed eligible – can be found here.

This article was originally published on PV Tech’s sister site Solar Power Portal and a link to the original story can be found here.

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