The provisional results of Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 2) auction show that two solar farms, with a total capacity of 80MWp, are expected to be built in counties Limerick and Wicklow.

Ballinknockane Solar is the Limerick project, which will have an approximate capacity of 61 MWp, while Threecastles Solar in Wicklow will deliver approximately 19 MWp. The two plants, to be fully owned and operated by Neoen, are scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2025.

They are two of 80 projects that received a provisional green light.

A total of 153 projects applied to participate in the RESS 2 qualification process: 130 projects (including 15 community projects) went on to participate in the auction; three projects did not qualify; and 20 projects formally withdrew from the process.

Of the 130 projects that qualified for the auction, all 130 projects submitted an offer price. Of the 130 projects, 80 projects were provisionally successful in the auction and 50 projects were provisionally unsuccessful.

The results of the auction will be confirmed later in June.

The construction of the Limerick and Wicklow projects has been awarded to Neoen.

The company already has 53 MW of wind farms under operation, and 58 MWp of solar plants either under construction or in commissioning in Ireland.

According to the company, together, the Limerick and Wicklow solar farms will generate approximately 76GWh a year, which is enough to power around 18,000 homes, and to prevent more than 24,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Neoen’s Irish portfolio
Three solar farms under construction, eight wind farms under operation, with a combined capacity of 53 MW, and a portfolio of over 220 MW of solar, wind and battery projects in an advanced stage of development. The company is behind the first grid-scale solar project – Millvale – to connect to the national grid under the RESS. This was officially opened at the end of April 2022.

This news comes just four weeks after the energisation of Millvale, Neoen’s first Irish solar farm, which was among the winners of RESS 1, and which is Ireland’s first large-scale, ground-mounted solar plant to be connected to the grid.

Managing director of Neoen Ireland, Cyril Perrin, commented:

“I would like to thank all the stakeholders involved for the trust they have placed in us, particularly the landowners and county councils whose support has been – and will continue to be – paramount for delivering these projects.”

Neoen’s chairman and chief executive officer, Xavier Barbaro, added that the company has exciting prospects for Ireland.