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Back to Press Releases 09 January 2024

Contract awarded for first ESB utility-scale solar farm project in Ireland

  • Bullstown Solar Farm is located near Ashbourne, Co Meath
  • The project is the first of a series of utility-scale solar farms being constructed by ESB
  • This initial phase of projects represents a total investment of almost €200m

Tuesday, 9 January 2024 

ESB is pleased to announce the awarding of a contract to Greencells GmbH for the development of Bullstown Solar Farm, which will be located to the south-east of Ashbourne, Co Meath.

The construction phase of the €13m project is scheduled to commence in early 2024 and once complete, the solar farm will generate 8.5MW of clean electricity which will provide enough capacity to power over 2,000 homes.

Bullstown Solar Farm will connect to the electricity network via a short length of cable into the existing Ashbourne 38kV substation that adjoins the site. A detailed traffic management plan will be agreed with Meath County Council prior to construction.

This is the first of three wholly-owned ESB solar farms currently being progressed which represents a total investment of almost €200m. ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy includes a commitment to deliver more than a fivefold increase in renewable generation portfolio to 5,000MW, with solar playing an important part in this alongside offshore and onshore wind, battery and green hydrogen projects.

Commenting on the announcement, Eoin Naughton, Solar Development Manager at ESB, said: “Bullstown Solar Farm marks the beginning of a sustained campaign by ESB to develop and construct a large portfolio of utility-scale solar farms throughout the midlands, south & south-east of the country as we move towards our ultimate goal of achieving Net Zero by 2040. Solar provides an excellent opportunity for landowners and local communities to benefit from the clean energy transition. Projects like this one will help to reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels whilst also contributing to decarbonising our electrical network. We now look forward to working with Greencells, one of the largest European solar EPC providers, to deliver Bullstown Solar Farm.”

Ric Hallikeri, General Manager EMEA at Greencells, added: "Ireland is a focus market for Greencells GmbH with the construction of six solar farms currently underway in the country. Bullstown Solar Farm is our first project with ESB and we look forward to delivering this important kick-off project for its wider solar portfolio. In the context of a long-term partnership, we will support ESB in realizing its ambitious decarbonization goals over the coming years." 

The project will be developed by Bullstown Solar Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ESB. Full planning permission has been granted by Meath County Council and the project was successful within the RESS 2 auction in June 2022.  

During the development of this project, ESB reiterated its commitment to working closely with the local communities surrounding the site to ensure the successful delivery of the project in 2024. Once the Bullstown Solar Farm is operational, a Community Benefit Fund will be made available which will distribute grants to organisations in the local area. The fund is to be used for the wider economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of the local community.

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