ESB and Solar Energy
Solar energy is a key part of ESB’s Brighter Future strategy which seeks to shift electricity generation away from fossil fuels by developing renewable projects of scale, and in doing so, lead the transition to a low carbon energy future based on clean, reliable and affordable electricity.
Ireland is in a great position to take advantage of the significant reduction in the cost of solar energy that has occurred in the past few years as the technology has advanced. Ireland is expected to follow the trend of other European countries and see increasing deployment of rooftop and grid scale solar energy. Solar energy is suited to Ireland‘s climate and has the potential to provide a clean, diversified renewable electricity source for decades to come.
ESB has increased our investment in solar energy and developed a growing portfolio since 2015.
Our investment in Terra Solar Limited
In 2016 we acquired a minority shareholding in Irish solar development company Terra Solar Limited. In early 2020, all of the fully developed sites within Terra Solar Limited were transferred to ESB, bringing an additional 118MW capacity to ESB’s solar portfolio. Terra Solar Limited will be wound down in an orderly manner, as envisaged in the original business plan. This successful partnership has increased ESB's renewable portfolio in line with the company's Brighter Future strategy.
Co-development agreement with Bord na Mona
In 2017 we announced a co-development agreement with Bord na Mona to develop solar energy projects in four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare. The joint venture, known as Sundew Solar, will access part of Bord na Móna’s land bank in strategic locations across the Midlands that are suitable for large scale solar energy projects. The joint venture brings together the expertise of two leading commercial semi-state companies in renewable energy with significant projects that support Ireland’s energy transition.
Our partnership with Harmony Solar
In May 2020, we entered into a partnership with Irish-owned renewable energy company, Harmony Solar, to develop ground-mounted solar projects in Ireland. Phase one will develop Harmony Solar’s existing 300MW portfolio primarily in Wexford and Kildare, with further phases on track to develop a total portfolio of over 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects. The development pipeline of the partnership will see an initial capital investment of €30 million, with further investment in the medium to long term as the pipeline comes to fruition. More information here.
ESB's Smart Energy Services solar projects
ESB's Smart Energy Services helps large customers to lower their carbon footprint, improving energy efficiency while deliver savings on their energy costs. To help the daa achieve a 33% reduction energy consumption at the airport by 2020, ESB installed 268 solar panels on top of the airport's reservoir system which will provide more than half of the reservoir's annual energy requirements.