Lorcan Allen: After a late start, Ireland finally turns its face to the sun

Statkraft, the Norwegian energy giant is building one of Ireland’s biggest solar farms at Ballymacarney on the Dublin-Meath border. But is the country ready to take full advantage of the benefits of solar power?

Kevin O’Donovan managing director of Statkraft Ireland at the Ballymacarney solar farm in Co Meath: the Norwegian giant now has up to 1,000MW of solar projects at different stages of development here. Picture: Barry Cronin

Just outside Ashbourne, in the tillage fields along the Dublin-Meath border, a transformation is taking place.

Rather than sowing winter wheat for the coming year, workers are busy driving metal piles into the ground around Ballymacarney in east Meath. Over the coming months, state-of-the-art solar panels will be attached to those piles, and one of Ireland’s largest solar farms will be ready to start producing power for the national grid.

In a mixture of traditional ...