A CORK company is to begin construction of 10 solar energy farms across Cork to provide more than 50 million units (kWhrs) of power each year through a €70 million investment.
Amarenco, headed by former Bord Gáis boss and Chair of the Port of Cork John Mullins has planning permission in place for 10 solar farms dotted around Cork and one in Waterford.
Following the announcement last week of Government subsidies for renewable electricity, Amarenco confirmed they will begin preparations for the build-out of the 11 shovel-ready solar farms with the first farm completed by the end of next year.
The solar farms planned for Cork are located in Inniscarra, Carrigaline, Mallow, Timoleague, Whitechurch, Fermoy, Kanturk, Béal na Bláth, Castlelyons and Ballineen. Amarenco also has permission for a solar farm in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
Each farm will be made up of 22,000 photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted frames and will generate approximately 5.6 million units (kWhrs) of electricity per annum. Each farm has the potential to generate enough electricity to power more than 1,300 homes.
The company said 250 jobs will be created during the build out of the farms, with 10 permanent positions once operational.
The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), announced by Minister for Climate Action, Denis Naughten will incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation to meet national and EU-wide renewable energy targets. The Government will hold auctions with companies bidding to generate renewable energy.
“The announcement by Minister Naughten is very welcome and now brings Ireland in line with most other European Union nations in terms of an official recognition of solar energy, which is the fastest growing renewable energy sector on the planet,” John Mullins said.
“Amarenco has been calling for this support for some considerable time and we will now commence our preparatory work for the installation of solar farms to provide Ireland’s electricity grid with much needed clean electricity. We expect to have our first solar farm operational by the end of 2019. We ask the Government to carry out the first auction in early 2019 so as to commence delivery of these projects in 2019.”