New solar farm near Carrigaline could power up to 16,000 homes 

Construction is due to begin in 2024. 
New solar farm near Carrigaline could power up to 16,000 homes 

The acquisition of the Ballinrea solar project, located between Carrigaline and Cork City, will power up to 16,000 homes. File image.

A SOLAR farm project near Carrigaline has recently been acquired by Cork-headquartered renewable energy company Ørsted, which will generate enough energy to power every single new home that is planned to be built in Cork city between now and 2028.

Leading global renewable energy company Ørsted announced this week that it has acquired its first Irish solar project, in an agreement with renewable energy developer Terra Solar.

The acquisition of the Ballinrea solar project, located between Carrigaline and Cork City, will power up to 16,000 homes.

With construction due to begin in 2024, the Ballinrea Solar Farm is expected to be operational by 2025 and will add a further 65MW of solar to Ørsted’s global goal of 17.5GW of onshore renewables by 2030.

This acquisition is viewed as a strategic first step in the company’s commitment to multi-technology deployment in Ireland across a variety of renewable energy sources. 

Ranked the world’s most sustainable energy company, Ørsted’s Irish headquarters are based in Cork city, where it employs 90 people.

Kieran White, vice-president of Ørsted Europe Onshore, said that the Ballinrea Solar Farm will make a “meaningful contribution” to Ireland’s national energy target of 80% renewables by 2030, as well as to the Government’s new 5.5GW solar target.

“It will also enhance the climate neutrality of the region by generating power for 16,000 homes, which is the number of new homes planned to be built in the city between now and 2028,” he said.

He added that projects such as Ballinrea pave the way to ensuring “energy resilience” and delivering on 2030 targets, but that “significant investment in our electricity grid is required to match the ambition of Government targets, continue the push to net zero and ensure energy security long-term”.

The transaction marks a significant milestone for Ørsted, following the acquisition of the Cork-based Brookfield Renewable Ireland business in June 2021.

Mr White said that the company is “continuing to invest in [its] Cork-based team and development projects to grow [its] existing Irish operational asset base of 327MW”.

He emphasised that government and stakeholders must continue to work collaboratively with industry to deliver on environmentally friendly energy projects.

“Issues such as long planning, licensing, and judicial timelines, and access to adequate grid infrastructure continue to hold the renewable sector back,” he said.

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