First grid-scale solar project to connect to the national grid opens in Ashford

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, today formally opened the first grid-scale solar project to connect to the national grid under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme in Co Wicklow.

Millvale solar farm, developed by Neoen, is now delivering electricity into the national grid. It is located close to Ashford in the Garden County and has a generation capacity of 8MW.

The farm occupies 25 hectares and has 33,600 solar modules – enough to power approximately 3,600 homes every year and avoiding 4,800 tonnes in CO2 emissions.

This is the first of many solar projects to reach commercial operation under RESS 1 – the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) – and the first of almost 600MW of solar generation capacity secured in the auction.

Commenting on the opening of Millvale solar farm Minister Ryan said: “The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is one of the primary policies set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan to address Ireland’s climate challenges over the coming years. It supports the growth of the green economy, creates sustainable work opportunities and benefits citizens, as renewable energy becomes more cost effective and replaces fossil fuels such as coal and peat.

“Historically Ireland has had a singular reliance on onshore wind for our renewable electricity. With RESS 1 we sought to create technology diversity and to promote the emerging solar industry in Ireland. I am delighted to see Millvale energise; this is Ireland’s first grid-scale solar project under RESS.

“This is the first of many solar projects expected to energise under the RESS this year. It’s a key starting point on our journey, under the Climate Action Plan, to install up to 2.5GW of solar energy on the electricity system by 2030.”

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