Renewable energy company Ørsted has purchased its first Irish solar project, in an agreement with renewable energy developer Terra Solar.

The Ballinrea solar project, located between Carrigaline and Cork City, will power up to 16,000 homes.

With construction due to begin in 2024, Ballinrea is expected to be operational by 2025 and will add a further 65MW of solar to Ørsted's global goal of 17.5GW of onshore renewables by 2030.

Ørsted's Irish headquarters is based in Cork City, where it employs 90 people.

The company said today's deal is a strategic first step in its commitment to multi-technology deployment in Ireland across a variety of renewable energy sources.

It follows the acquisition of the Brookfield Renewable Ireland business in June 2021.

Kieran White, Vice President of Ørsted Europe Onshore, said that for Ireland to ensure energy resilience and deliver its 2030 energy targets, it is essential that multiple technologies are delivered in tandem, from solar and onshore wind to offshore wind and storage.

"This is a key priority for Ørsted, both in Ireland and overseas," he said.

"Projects such as Ballinrea pave the way, but significant investment in our electricity grid is required to match the ambition of Government targets, continue the push to net zero and ensure energy security long-term," he added.

Mr White said the Ballinrea Solar Farm will make a meaningful contribution to Ireland's national energy target of 80% renewables by 2030 as well as to the Government's new 5.5GW solar target.

"It will also enhance the climate neutrality of the region by generating power for 16,000 homes, which is also the number of new homes planned to be built in the city between now and 2028," he added.