Plans for €60m investment in Clare and Kerry solar farms

Co Clare could become a leading generator of solar- powered energy with the announcement that the county’s first solar farm is to be located at Ballymorris, just off the Ennis-Limerick N18 road.

The 12.4 hectare farm will be connected to the national grid and will generate enough electricity to power 1,200 homes over a 25-year period.

Following a number of pre-planning meetings with the local planning authority, Terra Solar will lodge its first planning application to develop a solar farm at its Ballymorris site in Cratloe in the coming weeks.

The company has selected six sites in Clare, which all share certain common characteristics, and has applied in each case for grid connection to ESB Networks.

Requiring an investment of €5m apiece, the six sites in the Shannon area will provide enough electricity to power 6,000 homes.

An announcement about a similar €30m development in Kerry will be made over the coming month.

The company projects the creation of 60 construction jobs per site over a 12-week period, with most of these posts being sourced locally.

The overall investment will also make the Shannon region more attractive for new industry as the overall energy created by the local solar farms would almost be the equivalent of decarbonising Shannon.

“It will create a good platform to attract multinationals such as the likes of Google and Apple, which want to source renewable energy,” said Terra Solar director Andre Fernon. “It will help the Government to position Clare as a renewable energy county, which should lead to a springboard for other jobs.”