10 May 2024

Lightsource BP Proposes 57MW Solar and 54MW Energy Storage for Ireland

10 May 2024  by solarpowerportal   

A bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan will be developed in conjunction with the planning application, ensuring the plan enhances the site for wildlife. Image: Lightsource BP.

Lightsource BP will outline its proposal to fund, develop and build a 57MW solar and 54MW co-located energy storage installation at a community information event on 22 May 2024. The project will be situated on 182 acres of land in County Meath, ROI.

Lightsource BP, which finances, develops, and manages solar energy projects, invites residents from the surrounding area to the information event. The project is a key facet of the company’s strategy to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

A bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan will be developed in conjunction with the planning application, ensuring the plan enhances the site for wildlife.

Lightsource BP hopes to hear from wildlife enthusiasts and local schools who may be interested in participating in the ongoing monitoring of wildlife on the site. This is part of the company’s drive to contribute positively to all the communities it serves.

Aidan Collins, head of environmental planning in the UK and Ireland at Lightsource BP, said: “Solar energy is not only clean and renewable, but it also generates locally produced electricity. This makes solar an important part of meeting the global rise in energy demand efficiently and more sustainably, which is a core aspect of Lightsource BP’s sustainability mission.

“We want to ensure that local communities in and around the proposed location have all the information they need about this project. We’re holding this information event to speak to elected representatives, local businesses and residents of the local community, and to gather feedback. This event is also a great way for the community to ask any questions they may have about the project or solar energy in general.”

The land will retain the potential for agricultural use (agrivoltaics). The layout proposal for the solar installation has been designed so that most of the open grassland on the site – making up about 70% of the installation – will be suitable for grazing small livestock.

The proposed fields have been chosen partly due to the existing local topography, which will screen the site and limit surrounding views of the solar farm.

Lightsource BP expands across the UK

In February this year, the company energised its first UK-based battery energy storage system (BESS), co-located with its solar farm in Lincolnshire.

Lightsource BP has a presence in 19 countries and a pipeline of 61GW, particularly in the European market. In November 2023, the company was fully acquired by oil and gas giant BP.

In the same month, the group requested submissions for its latest multi-buyer corporate power purchase agreement, a move it claimed would enable smaller businesses to access solar power in Europe. This was covered in our sister publication, PV-Tech.

Irish energy storage

In February, Bobby Smith, president of the representative group Energy Storage Ireland, told Solar Power Portal: “Energy storage is coming kind of relatively late to that [renewable energy] game. The first battery project was built in Ireland around 2019/2020, and we have had a very successful few years in terms of storage built out.”

At the end of March, Gore Street Energy Storage Fund secured an additional 385MW of Irish-based energy storage, of which 130MW is operational. Ireland has been singled out as “a consistently lucrative market for the company”.

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