Danish energy company Obton has confirmed plans to double its investment in the Irish solar energy market in the years ahead.

The company said it expects to expand its portfolio and solar energy projects here to reach a capacity of 1 Gigawatt (GW) by 2026.

That would see total value of its investment here in solar reaching €750m.

Obton formed a joint venture with the Irish energy company Shannon Energy in recent years to build solar farms using Photovoltaic panels, which use the sun's energy to convert daylight into renewable energy.

The partnership was awarded contracts last year for 11 solar projects in the first round of the Government's Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The projects are located in eight counties, including sites in Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Longford, Galway, Offaly, Meath and Tipperary.

The company claims that the combined 118 MW (megawatts) of power generated will be enough to fulfil the yearly energy requirements of up to 20,000 households.

"We look forward to continuing to expand the role of solar as part of the Irish Government's ambitious objective of having 70% renewal energy by 2030," Anders Marcus, CEO of Obton, said.

"We are now focused on acquiring more early stage opportunities to build solar projects on suitable Irish farms in order to reach our target of 1 GW in the coming years," Noel Shannon, CEO of Shannon Energy added.