Construction of a new solar farm at Timahoe North in Co Kildare is under way as part of a wider solar energy joint venture between Bord na Móna and ESB.

International energy producer and service provider, Voltalia, has been contracted to carry out the Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") contract of the solar farm over the next year.

The two companies expect the solar farm will be fully operational by the end of next year, with an installed capacity of 108MW of renewable energy to the national grid.

"This is enough energy to power around 25,000 homes, which will support the delivery of more green energy to communities and businesses across the country in line with Ireland’s renewable energy targets for 2030," the companies said in a statement.

Bord na Móna and ESB have agreed to develop solar power across four midlands locations in Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon.

The joint venture aims to collectively deliver up to 500 MW of power from solar farms based on Bord na Móna lands.

This development follows the successful outcome for Bord na Móna and ESB in the Government's Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction last year, as well as early-stage works which have taken place over the past 12 months.

"Bord na Móna has made significant progress across other areas of renewable energy to date, notably onshore wind, but in line with our Brown to Green Strategy and current government policy, we are committed to continued expansion and diversification of our renewable energy portfolio," said Bord na Móna's Head of Renewable Energy John Reilly.

"While still in its infancy, the solar industry in Ireland has the potential to play a pivotal role in Ireland’s renewable energy future," he added.

Jim Dollard, ESB Executive Director, Generation & Trading, said this project is part of ESB's wider investment in solar farms.

"ESB expects to invest €200m over the next two years in the first phase of our solar roll out, as we move towards our ultimate goal of achieving Net Zero by 2040," he said.

"This project shows the importance that ESB is placing in solar and demonstrates our commitment to developing a growing portfolio of solar assets in Ireland," he added.