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SSE Renewables secures contract in Ireland’s third RESS auction

11 Oct 2023

Turbine foundations under construction at Yellow River Wind Farm in Rhode, Co. Offaly.

SSE Renewables has been successful in Ireland’s latest competitive auction for onshore wind and solar energy, winning a contract for the 101MW Yellow River onshore wind farm project currently under construction in Rhode, Co. Offaly.

Yellow River is one of three onshore wind projects and 20 solar projects to have secured Contracts for Difference (CfD) for a maximum of 16.5 years of new renewable energy generation under the Irish Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS-3) auction.

Yellow River secured a CfD for 101MW, representing 100 per cent of the site’s planned installed capacity. At 101MW it is the largest project to secure a contract under RESS-3.

The contract win means Yellow River will receive guaranteed revenue for the low-carbon electricity it generates for the duration of the RESS-3 contract. The contract is due to commence post commissioning and once the Yellow River project has completed construction.

Heather Donald, Director of Onshore Development at SSE Renewables, said:

"We’re delighted our Yellow River Wind Farm project has been successful in this latest auction round. This means the project will receive a guaranteed income when it is operational for the green energy it produces during the lifetime of the contract.

“Participating in the RESS-3 auction has been made possible by reforms which the Irish Government introduced to the process, including partial indexation to adjust for the effects of inflation and protection against curtailment. These welcome reforms to the auction design have helped enable projects such as Yellow River to participate as we now have access to a more stable and resilient route to market.”

The Yellow River Wind Farm project was granted full planning consent in 2014, with construction commencing in November 2022. Turbine manufacturer Nordex Group will begin delivery of components for the 29, 3.6MW, turbine units to site later this year, ahead of the start of turbine installation in early 2024.

The project is supporting up to 80 full-time construction jobs at peak delivery. SSE Renewables expects to complete construction of Yellow River Wind Farm in 2024 and will operate the asset throughout its lifetime.

When complete, Yellow River will be capable of generating enough low-carbon renewable energy to power the equivalent of 66,000 homes annually and offset 71 million Kg of carbon per annum, contributing significantly to Ireland's 2030 renewable energy targets.

The wind farm will also support a substantial Community Benefit Fund to the value of over €0.5m per annum for the duration of the RESS-3 contract. The Fund, which will be designed in consultation with the local community, will help promote a range of energy sustainability, climate action and other community initiatives in the area around the Co. Offaly wind farm.