ESB bolsters position in Irish solar market with Harmony Solar partnership

Irish utility ESB has signed a multi-million euro partnership with Wexford-based solar company Harmony Solar.

The partnership will initially see the two develop Harmony’s 300MW portfolio before continuing to develop a total portfolio of over 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects.

ESB announced today that this represents an initial capital investment of €30 million (£26 million), with further investment in the medium and long term as the solar projects come to fruition.  

Harmony Solar’s chairman, John McEneaney, said that the strategic partnership will help take the company’s solar projects from planning permission to realisation.

“We are looking forward to working together and we are confident that this partnership will further add to our ability to deliver solar power to even more Irish homes in the future.”

Currently, Harmony Solar has over 250MW of ground-mounted solar projects at an advanced stage. It is planning to develop 1,000MW over the next six years.

ESB added that solar is a key part of its Brighter Future strategy, with the utility looking to build its renewables portfolio in Ireland. In April, the company acquired 118MW of solar assets from now shuttered Terra Solar, which it is intending to enter in the upcoming Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auctions.

Jim Dollard, executive director of ESB Generation and Trading ,welcomed the announcement, saying the company was committed to a “future where low carbon electricity powers a low carbon society”.

“We already have an established position in the solar market in Ireland, with both ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects under development. This agreement with Harmony Solar represents another significant milestone, bolstering the company’s solar portfolio and our wider ambition in developing renewable electricity generation projects of scale.”

At the moment, operations at ESB and Harmony will be unchanged, with just desk-based work on their development pipeline being undertaken due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Site development will be undertaken in line with government regulations regarding lockdown and social distancing.