Irish sun for a green future
The Emerald Isle: SENS launches development of nearly 1 GW of solar capacity in Ireland
The Irish are known not only for their traditional culture and dark beer, but also for their unique landscape. This is characterised by steep cliffs, extraordinary scenery and grassy hills. The Island shines in numerous shades of green - vibrant and breathtaking. In future Ireland is to become even greener: the expansion of renewable energy is being driven forward in the country. In addition to wind energy, the focus is now increasingly on photovoltaics. SENS is accordingly developing a number of solar parks with a total capacity of almost 1 GW, which will be realised in the next few years together with its partner Everay Energy Ltd.
Big plans in Ireland
Over the next few years SENS will be developing several utility scale projects in Ireland. With over 500 MWp, in a few years' time these installations will generate 930 MWh of electricity per year. It is estimated that this will save more than 400 tonnes of CO2 annually.
This pipeline represents SENS first significant move into the Irish Solar industry in Ireland. However, the company is about to take major steps forward to support the pioneering expansion of photovoltaic solutions in the country.
After the project planning SENS will also be responsible for the turnkey construction and commissioning of the PV plants.
Taking big steps towards a green future
After signing the contract with a project development partner at the beginning of the year, the first steps of project development were set in motion. "We are currently engaged in the preliminary environmental investigation and the evaluation of the suitability of individual sites. Among other things, we are looking at the condition of the soil, weather influences, space and previous land use," explains Liliana Patricia Corredor Barrera, project developer at SENS and responsible for the Ireland pipeline.
Evaluation of suitable sites in Ireland: the sheep are later provided with a safe grazing area between solar modules
This is followed by legally securing the land and leases, as well as the planning & grid connection permits. In addition, the experts in the development department at SENS carry out the planning in compliance with the applicable environmental requirements in order to obtain a final building permit. By the first quarter of 2025 the projects will be ready for construction.
"We are developing our solar plants in Ireland in harmony with nature and the farmers in order to get the greatest possible benefit for nature and the local people from the green landscape. We will also ensure this during the construction and subsequent operation of the plants," explains Christian Kleinhans, Global Director Project Development at SENS in Germany.
Strong projects needs strong partners
In order to be able to implement the planned projects in Ireland in the best possible way, SENS has signed a co-development agreement with Everay Energy Ltd. The cooperation with the local developer of renewable energy in Ireland creates optimal conditions for the success of the projects. It enables the partners to complement each other with local knowledge and decades of experience, as well as expertise and manpower.
Potential of the Irish PV market
With this pipeline SENS is making a major contribution to the 2019 Climate Action Plan target of at least 1.5 GW of solar PV additions in Ireland by 2030. In September 2020 the island only had 796 MWp of PV capacity. Thanks to SENS, this will be raised to a new level.
Government support is being provided in the form of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). This supports electricity generation projects, particularly in the areas of cost efficiency, energy security and increasing the willingness of the entire Irish community to expand solar projects.
Ireland, together with SENS, is now looking towards an even greener future!