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Cork set for huge solar farm investment

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018 4:55pm

Amarenco Solar, which is headquartered in Cork, has plans to build 10 solar farms in Cork and one in Waterford, investing €70m in total. The company said 250 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with 10 permanent jobs created once the farms are operational.

Amarenco Solar is an independent renewable energy power company that develops, builds and operates renewable energy power plants. It is run by former Bord Gáis chief John Mullins.

Last week the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, received Government approval for the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). The new scheme will incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation to meet national and EU-wide renewable energy and decarbonisation targets out to 2030.

Mr Mullins welcomed news of the new RESS scheme and said that preparation for construction of the farms is to begin soon.

“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,” he 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.”

Last month the company was granted planning permission for its 11th solar farm. The farms will be in Ballineen, Beal na Bláth, Ballinvarrig, Kilmoney, Kanturk, Castlelyons, and a number of other locations.

Typically, each solar farm will be expected to generate approximately 5.6 million units (kWhrs) of electricity per annum and will comprise of approximately 22,000 photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted frames. It normally takes three months to build out a solar farm to these specifications.

Amerenco said the speed of build out will assist Ireland in getting closer to its binding EUI renewable targets in 2020.

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