Government hopes to lure more onshore wind farm developers to the Republic over the next three to four years with its latest round of green electricity price supports.
Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, confirmed details of the State’s latest Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) on Wednesday.
His department expects that the round will encourage developers to build wind farms in the Republic in 2026 and 2027 capable of generating between 2,000 and 3,500 mega watt hours (MWh) at full capacity. Peak Irish consumption is around 7,000MWh.
Companies seeking RESS contracts offer to produce electricity at a set price per MWh in an auction favouring the lowest bids.
Theoretically this should mean the cheapest, most efficient, generators get contracts to supply electricity.
Those who succeed in getting contracts are guaranteed a price for the electricity they produce, giving the business certainty, which overcomes a key barrier to raising finance for the project in the first place.
This round, dubbed RESS 3, will allow bidders limited scope to tie operating and maintenance costs to inflation.
Bidders must have a letter from State company EirGrid offering them a grid connection to qualify in the first place.
Mr Ryan warned that the Republic had to end its heavy reliance on fossil fuel. He dubbed RESS 3′s launch a “major step” in meeting Government’s climate goals.