Norway’s state-owned power giant Statkraft has entered Ireland’s nascent solar market with the acquisition of a 320MW portfolio of utility-scale assets.

The portfolio, acquired from developer JBM Solar, consists of nine utility-scale solar arrays which Statkraft described as being at “an advanced stage of development”.

Several of the projects have also been earmarked to participate in Ireland’s forthcoming Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auctions.

The 320MW of solar will build on Statkraft’s already sizeable renewables position in Ireland. The power company has around 1.25GW of onshore wind and 500MW of offshore wind in the country, however Statkraft Ireland managing director Kevin O’Donovan said the country would need a diverse portfolio of assets to meet its climate targets.

Ireland established its climate action plan this summer, outlining an aim of deriving 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“The acquisition of this 320MW of solar energy further diversifies our own portfolio and continues our upward growth trajectory.

“Each MW of these developments will be necessary if we are going to be successful in tackling climate change. Work carried out to date has ensured that the Irish electricity grid system is operating successfully with renewable energy levels of up to 65% at any given time which proves that we are not that very far away from having a grid system which can be run almost exclusively on renewable energy,” O’Donovan said.