The first large-scale ground mounted solar farm to supply electricity to the Irish grid has been opened near Ashford in Co Wicklow and is now operational.
Millvale solar farm incorporates 33,600 solar modules covering 25 hectares of land.
It was developed by Neoen, a leading independent producer of exclusively renewable energy, and has a generation capacity of 8 megawatts of electricity.
That is enough to power approximately 3,600 homes every year.
It is estimated that the electricity it generates will prevent 4,800 tonnes of greenhouse emissions.
It is the first of many solar projects to reach commercial operation under the Government's Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.
Formally opening the solar farm, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said 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," he said.
The first large-scale ground mounted solar farm to supply electricity to the Irish grid has been opened near Ashford in Co Wicklow and is now operational.https://t.co/3YoHEarHzK pic.twitter.com/v6VKianGVc— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 29, 2022
"Historically Ireland has had a singular reliance on onshore wind for our renewable electricity.
"With RESS 1 we sought to create technology diversity and to promote the emerging solar industry in Ireland. I am delighted to see Millvale energise; this is Ireland's first grid-scale solar project under RESS."
Minister Ryan said this was a "key starting point" on the plan to install up to 2.5GW of solar energy on the electricity system by 2030.