Ireland Awards 414 MW of Wind and 1,534 MW of Solar Projects
The weighted average price of the winning bids was €97.87 (~$101.80)/MWh
Ireland’s state-owned power grid, EirGrid, has released the final auction results to deploy 1.9 GW of renewable energy capacity under its Renewable Electricity Support Scheme 2 (RESS 2).
Capacity awarded under the auction included 414 MW of onshore wind and 1,534 MW of solar. The weighted average price of the winning bids was €97.87 (~$101.80)/MWh. The annual output of these projects is estimated to be 2,748 GWh.
Some of the most significant winning bid in the auction was for the 120 MW solar project by the special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Soleire Renewables and Ballymoneen Project and Clonfad Solar’s 100 MW solar projects.
A total of 153 bids were submitted in the RESS 2 qualification process. Per the Minister for the Environment, Climate, and Communications, 130 projects, including 15 community projects, qualified for the auction. Three projects did not qualify, and 20 projects formally withdrew from the process.
RESS 2 used a competitive auction process to determine the generators that would receive support. For successful projects, the support typically applies for approximately 15 years. The successful projects represent a potential increase of nearly 20% in Ireland’s current renewable energy generation capacity. They will be delivered between 2023 and 2025.
RESS is a government initiative supporting renewable electricity projects. It is a pivotal component of the Climate Action Plan 2021 and a significant step in achieving Ireland’s target of at least 80% renewable electricity by 2030.
The auction is the second of a minimum of five envisaged auctions to occur between 2020 and 2025. These auctions provide pathways for renewable developers, including solar and offshore wind projects through dedicated offshore auctions, to plan and develop their projects. They also allow Ireland to take advantage of new technologies as they emerge.
The projects successful in the RESS 2 auction will also help in meeting Ireland’s contribution towards an EU-wide 2030 renewable energy target and to Ireland’s target of a 51% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and related carbon budgets.
In August 2020, EirGrid released the provisional auction results for RESS 1. The weighted average strike price of provisionally successful offers for all projects was €74.08 (~$87.03)/MWh. For solar projects, the average price was €72.92 (~$85.66)/MWh, whereas for community projects, the average price was €104.15 (~$122.35)/MWh.
In 2021, renewables overtook fossil fuels as the primary source of energy in the European Union. Denmark achieved the highest share of wind and solar power, contributing to 62% of its power needs, followed by Ireland with a 35% share.