ESB and Harmony Solar, an Irish-owned renewable energy company, have entered into €30m partnership to develop ground-mounted solar projects in Ireland.

Phase one will develop Harmony Solar’s existing 300MW portfolio primarily in Wexford and Kildare, with further phases on track to develop a total portfolio of over 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects.

The development pipeline of the partnership will see an initial capital investment of €30m, with further investment in the medium to long term as the pipeline comes to fruition.

Solar energy is a key part of ESB’s Brighter Future strategy which seeks to shift electricity generation away from fossil fuels by developing renewable projects of scale, and in doing so, lead the transition to a low carbon energy future based on clean, reliable and affordable electricity.

ESB has said that the partnership has the potential to provide renewable electricity for approximately 230,000 homes – over 10% of Ireland’s households.

Harmony Solar’s chair, John McEneaney, said that ESB is now a strategic partner in bringing Harmony Solar’s current solar projects with planning permission to realisation, and ultimately in delivering on its commitments to our landowners.

“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.”

Low carbon electricity

Jim Dollard, executive director, ESB generation and trading, said ESB is 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.”

The agreement will enhance Ireland’s ability to reach future renewable energy targets and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 360,000t per year when the development pipeline is fully operational, according to the ESB.

For the moment, Harmony Solar and ESB continue with business as usual, undertaking desk-based work on their development pipeline. Any site-based work in the coming months will be undertaken entirely in line with Government requirements around social distancing.

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