Ørsted has acquired a 65MW solar project in Cork, Ireland, from Terra Solar. Image: Ørsted.

Ørsted has acquired a 65MW solar project in Cork, Ireland, from Terra Solar.

Situated in Ireland’s second-largest city, the 65MW Ballinrea solar PV project will become the company’s first in the country as it expands its renewable energy portfolio.

Once operational in 2025, the Ballinrea Solar Farm will contribute to Ørsted Onshore’s ambition to grow its global portfolio to a ~50:50 wind and solar PV capacity mix towards 2030.

It will also support Ireland’s target in generating 80% renewable electricity by 2030 and the wider 5.5GW solar target.

“The transaction marks a significant milestone as it’s the first Irish solar project acquisition for the company,” said Kieran White, vice-president of Europe Onshore at Ørsted.

“This project will make a meaningful contribution to Ireland’s national energy target of 80 % renewable electricity by 2030 and to the Irish government’s new 5.5 GW solar target. We’re delighted to work with Terra Solar to accelerate our solar journey in Ireland.”

Activity in the Irish solar sector is still picking up pace, with EDF Renewables Ireland breaking ground on three new solar farms with a total capacity of 17MW, NTR acquiring a 54MW portfolio of co-located solar and storage projects in Co. Wexford and Highfield Solar securing financing for the development of two sites totalling 282MWp in 2021, amongst other developments.

Earlier this year, Ireland’s first utility-scale solar farm developed under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) also connected to the national grid.

The 8MW Millvale solar farm had been developed by Neoen, and included 33,600 solar modules installed across 25 hectares in Co. Wicklow.

According to a report from international advisory firm AFRY, solar growth in Ireland could provide an annual saving of €21 (£18) per citizen.

It modelled three scenarios with different levels of solar and wind, to establish the most effective way of meeting the Government’s target of 70% renewable electricity by 2030.

Within these, the highest solar scenario saw a total €106 million (£91.5 million) annual saving, as there are significant benefits from a diversified portfolio of generation assets.