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Irish renewable energy firm Amarenco will have its first Irish solar farms built by summer, says CEO

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Gearing up: Armenco CEO John Mullins expects to build 8 solar farms
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Gearing up: Armenco CEO John Mullins expects to build 8 solar farms

Renewable energy firm Amarenco expects to complete construction of eight solar farms in Ireland by the end of the summer as it gears up for the Government’s next renewable energy support scheme (RESS) auction, according to co-founder and chief executive John Mullins.

The projects will cost a total of about €32m to build.

Irish company Amarenco will seek approval for about 30MW of projects in the auction process that kicks off in April. It will be the second such auction managed by semi-State transmission operator EirGrid. The first auction saw 114 projects apply for support under the RESS.

The scheme was introduced to help Ireland meet a target of generating 70pc of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.

The auction awards successful projects capacity on the electricity network and a guaranteed price for the electricity they generate.

Mr Mullins said he hopes Amarenco will be successful in with all its planned projects in the auction, which will include solar farms across Co Cork and Co Waterford.

He said the company is just about to finalise financing for the construction of its first 40MW of projects here. He declined to name the institution bankrolling the projects.

“We’re hoping to have the physical construction of those assets completed by August,” he said. “It’s up to the ESB to connect them, so we’re having discussions with them about that.”

Modules for the solar farms have already been ordered from China, with Amarenco having plumped for Trina as module provider.

The eight solar farms, each of which will generate up to 5MW of power, are all located in Co Cork.

“We’re hoping to start construction at the end of March,” said Mr Mullins, who is a former chief executive of Bord Gais.

Amarenco also has assets in France and Iberia and is targeting development in locations including Oman, Thailand, Taiwan and Egypt.

Amarenco expects to have as much as 500MW of projects under construction or in final development in Iberia by the end of this year.

It anticipates having 30GW of projects operational by 2030 and 50GW by 2050, with markets outside Ireland providing major opportunities for the group. The solar company recently bought a 50MW solar farm in Spain and acquired 148MW of projects in Portugal.

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