Walking on sunshine: Obton doubles investment in Irish solar energy

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Danish solar company Obton, along with its Irish partner Shannon Energy, has said it will double its investment in the Irish market, with plans to develop 1GW solar energy projects over the next five years.

The increase will see the total value of the companies’ portfolio and projects reach an investment of €750m in the solar energy sector in Ireland.

This major expansion from the Danish-Irish partnership comes just over a year after they entered the Irish market in January 2020 with plans to develop up to 500MW of solar projects.

Last year, Obton and Shannon Energy submitted 11 solar projects in the first round of the Irish Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme and were subsequently awarded contracts for all of these projects.

These projects including sites in Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Longford, Galway, Offaly, Meath and Tipperary. The combined 118MW of power generated could be enough to fulfil the yearly energy requirements of up to 20,000 households.

Construction at the first project will begin in June 2021 at an 8MW solar park in Tipperary, which will see nearly 20,000 solar panels deployed and connected to the national grid.

Anders Marcus, CEO of Obton, said: “Our partnership with Shannon Energy has successfully facilitated our investment in the Irish market and we look forward to continuing to expand the role of solar as part of the Irish Government’s ambitious objective of having 70pc renewal energy by 2030.”

Noel Shannon, CEO of Shannon Energy, said its team of specialists are “the boots on the ground” from an Obton perspective. “We are now focused on acquiring more early-stage opportunities to build solar projects on suitable Irish farms in order to reach our target of 1 GW in the coming years’’.

Three more solar farms

Obton’s investment follows more positive solar news as EDF Renewables Ireland begins construction of three new solar farms at sites in Wexford and Kilkenny.

The three projects are said to be among the first utility-scale solar farms to be built in Ireland and, once complete, will have a combined capacity of 17MW.

Construction is expected to take up to 10 months, to be completed in February 2022 at the earliest.

EDF Renewables Ireland’s head of development, Kevin Daly, said the team is delighted to break ground on its first solar projects in Ireland.

“Developing a diverse renewable energy mix is crucial if Ireland is to achieve its 2030 emissions targets and these three new solar farms will make an important contribution to meeting these goals and providing consumers with affordable, low-carbon electricity,” he said.

“We are committed to working hand-in-hand with communities and are engaging with local residents in Wexford and Kilkenny to keep them updated on the projects and the construction process as they develop, and the community benefit funds that will help support local projects and initiatives.”

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