ESB and Bord na Móna join forces for solar power initiative

Companies expect project will provide renewable energy to power 150,000 homes

Once completed, the solar power project will provide renewable energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes, according to ESB and Bord na Móna. Photograph: iStock Photo

Once completed, the solar power project will provide renewable energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes, according to ESB and Bord na Móna. Photograph: iStock Photo

 

ESB and Bord na Móna will develop solar power in four locations in Roscommon and Offaly and after announcing a co-development agreement.

Once completed, the project will provide renewable energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes, according to a statement from the companies ahead of a launch on Thursday.

Mike Quinn, Bord na Móna chief executive, said: “The solar industry, although in its infancy here in Ireland, has the potential to form an important part of Ireland’s future energy mix in the medium to long term.”

Bord na Móna is allowing use of strategic locations in its land bank across the midlands which have been identified as being suitable for large-scale solar energy projects.

Pat O’Doherty, ESB chief executive, said: “This new partnership . . . reinforces our confidence in solar to help Ireland meet its carbon reduction targets beyond 2020.”

2020 emissions targets

Speaking to RTÉ earlier this month the director general of Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency, Laura Burke, advised that Ireland won’t meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Renewable energy in the Republic is predominantly generated by wind energy. In an effort to reduce emissions in line with EU requirements, government policy has shifted to introduce more diversity in the renewable energy portfolio by promoting other technologies such as biomass, wave, tidal and solar energy.

According to a statement from both companies, this co-development agreement is well positioned to support that policy.

In an effort to re-assure communities who may see solar panelling on their landscape, Mr Quinn said: “Community consultation will be placed at the heart of the project . . . [we] bring considerable expertise and knowledge in delivering best-in-class community engagement around out projects, ensuring a clear commitment to open and transparent engagement with households adjacent to any proposed development.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Electric Ireland announced that it was moving into the residential solar power market.