50 solar farms across Ireland and the UK are to be financed by German bank Berenberg. Berenberg Green Energy Junior Debt Fund III has entered into an agreement with solar and storage developer, Elgin Energy, to finance late-stage development of 1.36 GWp (gigawatt-peak) of Elgin’s solar portfolio.

The first projects from the portfolio are expected to be ready to build by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Commenting on the partnership, Ronan Kilduff, managing director of Elgin Energy said that it is a "step change for the business in terms of the quantum of our development capital" and that it will "accelerate the deployment of a significant portion of our portfolio of utility-scale solar projects". Elgin has a portfolio of projects in late-stage development totaling over 3.7GW across its three key markets of the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Construction of Leinster solar farms

Meanwhile, financing has been completed for three solar plants to be constructed in Leinster that will “provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 12,700 homes”.

Neoen, a French producer of renewable energy and BNRG, a solar farm developer and operator headquartered in Dublin, have said that their projects, with a combined capacity of 58MWp (megawatts-peak) are to be among “the first large-scale solar projects under construction in the Republic of Ireland”.

The plants will be located in Hilltown, Co. Meath; Hortland, Co. Kildare; and Millvale, Co. Wicklow. The projects were successful in the first auction of the government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) in 2020. Construction of the projects is now underway.

The solar farms will provide enough electricity “to power the equivalent of 12,700 homes”. According to Neoen, sheep grazing will be used for vegetation control in the solar farms.

Cyril Perrin, managing director of Neoen Ireland, said the company is pleased “to be among the first companies to harness the potential of solar energy in the Republic of Ireland”.