Wexford is the highest yield area for solar in Ireland according to Highview, which is set to build the 141MWp Rosspile solar PV plant in the county. Image: Sean MacEntee/Flickr.

Highfield Solar has secured one of the first large-scale solar construction financing deals in Ireland for the development of two sites totalling 282MWp.

The company, which was formed as part of a joint venture between German company ib vogt, Irish company Highfield Energy and UK company Aura Power in 2014, has reached financial close on a €160 million (£138 million) project financing debt facility.

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB) have provided the funding for the projects, through a blend of KFW and commercial loans split eveningly between the three.

The first project is the 141MWp Rosspile solar PV plant, which will be located near the village of Foulksmills in the County Wexford and sit across a ca. 141-hectare site. According to Highfield Solar, this is the highest yield area in the country.

Also with a capacity of 141MWp, the Gillinstown solar PV plant will sit on 123-hectares near the village of Duleek in County Meath.

Both will utilise bifacial modules on fixed-tilt support structures, and work on grid connection infrastructure has already begun. Construction of Rosspile is expected to be completed in July 2022, and in October 2022 for Gillinstown.

As well as providing development funding and technical engineering support to Highfield Solar, ib vogt will provide EPC and initial O&M services to both sites.

Rosspile and Gillinstown were both successful in the Irish government’s first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) auction in 2020. As part of this scheme, each solar project will provide approximately €200,000 each year for the duration of the term of RESS support of 15 years in community benefit funding.

Peter Kavanagh, managing director at Highfield Energy said the company was delighted to have “reached this significant milestone” and is looking forward to completing the projects.

“The three partners have enjoyed a very positive relationship and combined their resources, capabilities, experience and knowledge to create these first class projects. As a company based in Ireland, we are hugely proud of our role in attracting such significant investment into the country for a renewable electricity generation project.”