Bord na Móna and ESB, have commenced construction of a new solar farm at Timahoe North, Co Kildare, as part of a wider solar energy joint venture between the two companies. Timahoe North will be the first large-scale solar project that both Bord na Móna and ESB will bring to fruition as part of their respective renewable energy portfolios.
International energy producer and service provider, Voltalia, has been contracted to carry out the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract of the solar farm over the next year. It is expected that Timohoe North solar farm will be fully operational by the end of 2024, with an installed capacity of 108MWp of renewable energy to the national grid. This is enough energy to power around 25,000 homes, which will support the delivery of more green energy to communities and businesses across the country in line with Ireland’s renewable energy targets for 2030.
The Timahoe North solar farm is part of a significant co-development agreement between Bord na Móna and ESB to develop solar power across four midlands locations in Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon. The joint venture will collectively deliver up to 500 MW of power from solar farms based on Bord na Móna lands.
This development follows the successful outcome for Bord na Móna and ESB in the Government’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS 2) auction last year, as well as early-stage works which have taken place over the past 12 months.
Commenting on the milestone announcement, Bord na Móna’s Head of Renewable Energy John Reilly said: “We are very excited to launch the construction phase of Timahoe North, Bord na Móna’s first solar energy farm in partnership with ESB. Bord na Móna has made significant progress across other areas of renewable energy to date, notably onshore wind, but in line with our Brown to Green Strategy and current government policy, we are committed to continued expansion and diversification of our renewable energy portfolio.
While still in its infancy, the solar industry in Ireland has the potential to play a pivotal role in Ireland’s renewable energy future. We have ambitious plans, in conjunction with ESB, to produce an impressive 500 MW of solar power in the coming years and we believe this joint venture is an important step towards supporting national renewable energy requirements for 2030 and beyond.”
Jim Dollard, ESB Executive Director, Generation & Trading, said: “This project shows the importance that ESB is placing in solar and demonstrates our commitment to developing a growing portfolio of solar assets in Ireland. ESB has a proven record of delivering renewable energy projects at scale and we are looking forward to working with our partners Bord na Móna to deliver Timahoe North and other projects in the future as part of this joint venture. This project is part of ESB’s wider investment in solar farms, and ESB expect to invest €200m over the next two years in the first phase of our solar roll out, as we move towards our ultimate goal of achieving Net Zero by 2040.”
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