Norwegian energy firm Statkraft has paid more than €10m to acquire rights to five solar farm projects in Cork, Laois, Meath and Tipperary.
Statkraft said it plans to invest €150m in the sites, previously owned by UK firm Lightsource, which is controlled by BP. Statkraft is Norway’s largest energy producer.
Both parties declined to specify the amount paid. Industry sources put the deal in a range of €10m to €12m.
All five sites have full planning permission to build solar energy farms that, when completed, will generate a combined capacity of 275MW.
The purchase increases Statkraft’s rapidly growing profile in renewable energy here. Last month, as part of the State’s first auction of renewable energy delivery contracts, Statkraft secured support for delivering two wind farms and two solar farms.
One of the five projects newly acquired from Lightsource – Blundelstown Solar Farm in Meath – was also selected for State support in that auction, placing it on a path for accelerated delivery.
The other four projects would need to proceed without State support, but are likely to feature in Statkraft bids in future auctions.
The other solar projects are in Monatooreen, Co Cork; Loughteague, Co Laois; Harristown, Co Meath; and Ballymacadam, Co Tipperary.
Statkraft recently completed a €30m wind farm at Kilathmoy on the Kerry-Limerick border with 23MW capability.