A UK dairy cooperative has launched the largest ‘self-consumption’ solar farm on the island of Ireland.
Northern Ireland-based Dale Farm, a co-op of 1300 dairy farmers from across the UK, has launched the solar farm at its cheese processing facility in County Tyrone.
The co-operative is hoping to achieve a major milestone in sustainability within the global dairy sector.
The project, which guarantees 20 years of green energy for the company, is one of the largest of its kind in dairy worldwide.
The 37-acre solar farm, connected directly to the company’s network, is now powering Dale Farm’s cheddar cheese plant at Dunmanbridge, Cookstown.
Designed and delivered in partnership with Dublin company CES Energy, the solar farm will reduce Dale Farm’s carbon footprint by 20% and deliver multimillion-pound savings in energy costs.
Chris McAlinden, Group Operations Director Dale Farm said the co-operative is committed to sustainability.
“This approach is about doing the right thing for the environment and ultimately making our business as lean as it can be, so we can pay our farmer owners the best possible price for their milk,” Mr McAlinden said.
“We are extremely proud to have developed a green energy solution that positions our operations at the vanguard of sustainability not just in dairy in Ireland, but worldwide.”
Headquartered in Belfast, Dale Farm is the largest UK farmer-owned dairy cooperative.
Source: Farming UK