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Renewable Electricity Support Scheme

Renewable Electricity Support Scheme

Date: 20 May 2022

Provisional results of RESS-2 auction announced

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, today (20 May 2022) announced the provisional results of the second Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction. 

RESS-2 is the second of a minimum of 5 envisaged auctions, to occur between 2020 and 2025 to deliver on our ambitious 80% renewable electricity target by 2030. These auctions provide pathways for renewable developers to plan and develop their projects and allow Ireland to take advantage of new technologies as they emerge. The first renewable energy auction held in 2020 (RESS-1) saw 1.28GW of renewable energy capacity awarded.

A total of 153 projects applied to participate in the RESS-2 qualification process, which opened in December 2021. The Final Qualification Results, as approved by the Minister, qualified 130 projects (including 15 Community Projects) to participate in the RESS 2 Auction of which 80 projects have been provisionally successful.

These 80 projects amount to 1.9GW of renewable energy capacity and represents a potential increase of nearly 20% in Ireland’s renewable energy generation. Solar was the dominant technology in the bidding process, with photovoltaic (PV) projects securing 1,534 MW  and onshore wind securing 414 MW. 

The design of the auction utilised an Evaluation Correction Factor (ECF) weighted towards solar to reflect the relative benefits that each type of technology (and the diversity that they bring) has on system costs. A large volume of solar capacity was secured under RESS-2 and is expected to contribute significantly, in the first half of the decade, towards our CAP ambitions to connect up to 2.5GW of solar to the electricity system by 2030.

RESS-2 also included the use of a preference category for community projects, approximately 1% of the auction volume. There were 10 projects have been identified as provisional winners in the community preference category, which will allow these communities to develop their own renewable energy projects and sell the energy back to the grid.

The Programme for Government – "Our Shared Future" – recognises the importance of community involvement in energy projects. RESS 2 includes mandatory community benefit funds for all projects and a dedicated community projects category. The community benefit fund under RESS 2 will deliver approximately €7 million each year to sustainable community initiatives targeted at those communities living in close proximity to the projects. Action Number 106 of the Climate Action Plan 2021 calls on the need to ensure communities benefit from renewable energy projects in RESS through benefit funds and ownership