Large-scale solar farm opens in Wicklow

Large-scale solar farm opens in Wicklow

Eamon Ryan praised the growing renewable energy sector in Ireland (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

The first grid-scale solar farm in Ireland to connect to the national grid was launched on Friday in Co Wicklow.

The launch was attended by Climate Minister Eamon Ryan, who said that it would be the first of many such projects as Ireland aims to reach ambitious climate change targets.

The opening came amid global questions about fossil fuel reliance, as Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine.

It comes in the same week opposition parties have attacked the Government over a plan to curtail the sale of turf.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan (Oliver Contreras/PA)

The 25-hectare Millvale solar farm, developed by independent renewable energy producer Neoen, can generate a maximum of eight megawatts using 33,600 solar modules.

Officials in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said that the energy generated could power around 3,600 homes each year and save 4,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr Ryan said that it was the first major solar project to connect to the national grid under the Government’s renewable electricity support scheme.

“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.”

Ireland hopes to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with 80% of electricity coming from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

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