SSE Airtricity has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. for Northern Ireland’s largest solar farm capable of supplying 14,000 over the next 15 years.
The 194-acre solar farm at Bann Road, Rasharkin, Co Antrim, will also produce enough clean energy from the sun to offset nearly a million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.
It is the largest solar project developed in the UK or Ireland in 2017, and is the largest ever solar farm developed and energised on the island of Ireland.
The agreement represents an expansion into the solar power sector for SSE Airtricity, the second largest energy utility and leading provider of renewable power.
Earlier this year, it developed a 1,400-panel, 420 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar array on the roof of the Odyssey Complex in Belfast, generating enough renewable energy to offset roughly 200 tonnes of harmful carbon emissions annually.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with BayWa r.e for a project of this scale and significance,” said Peter Lord, head of SSE Airtricity Market Services.
“We have a great deal of capability and experience in energy market trading, which makes us ideally-placed for this type of agreement.
“This will allow the solar farm at Bann Road to deliver clean, green energy for customers, while further securing our proud position as Northern Ireland’s leading renewable energy provider.”
Benedikt Ortmann, MD of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects said: “The market here is in an early stage of development and we expect to see a lot more growth as Northern Ireland seeks to meet an increasing amount of its energy needs from renewable sources.