Norwegian energy group adds five Irish solar farms to portfolio

Statkraft acquires solar farms in Cork, Laois, Meath and Tipperary from Lighthouse BP

Two of the farms – the Blundelstown and Harristown solar farms – are in Meath while the other three farms are spread across Tipperary, Laois and Cork.  Photograph: iStock

Two of the farms – the Blundelstown and Harristown solar farms – are in Meath while the other three farms are spread across Tipperary, Laois and Cork. Photograph: iStock

 

Norwegian energy group Statkraft has acquired five undeveloped solar farms in the Republic, which the company expects will cost about €150 million to develop.

The solar farms, which all have the necessary planning and grid permission but have not yet been built, were acquired from London-based solar energy group Lightsource BP, a company in which oil major BP has a stake.

Two of the farms – the Blundelstown and Harristown solar farms – are in Co Meath, while the other three farms are spread across counties Tipperary, Laois and Cork. The projects have a combined capacity of 275 megawatts, enough to supply power to about 220,000 homes.

Although the company has not disclosed the price it paid, it did previously pay €15 million to acquire 320 megawatts in solar last year, indicating that it likely paid slightly less for the acquisition from Lightsource BP.

The company did say, through a spokesman, that the development cost to build out the five solar farms would be about €150 million.

“We are very pleased to be adding to our rapidly expanding portfolio with this suite of projects, which dovetail perfectly with our ongoing efforts to reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Statkraft Ireland managing director Kevin O’Donovan.

Auction

In the Republic’s recent renewable energy support scheme (Ress) auction, Statkraft secured contracts for over 330 megawatts of renewable power including two wind projects and two solar projects. Through the Ress auction, the State provides financial support to renewable projects in the Republic.

The group said it expects to make an investment decision “in the coming months” to construct the Blundelstown project. “As is the case with all its other ventures in the Irish market, the company will develop, establish a route to market and build this project providing the necessary finance from its own resources,” the company said.

Statkraft is among Europe’s largest generators of renewable energy, producing hydropower, wind power, solar power as well as trading energy. In the Republic, where it employs 55 staff, the group constructed its first wind and battery project in 2019.