Dale Farm plans huge Tyrone solar farm
Dairy giant Dale Farm has confirmed it intends to build a new solar farm in Co Tyrone. The development in Cookstown will be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland and is thought to be one of the largest in the dairy sector worldwide.
It comes after the Belfast Telegraph revealed the company's plans to add the multi-million pound solar array last year.
Dale Farm, which is working with CES Energy, will switch to solar power for much of the energy requirements at its cheese processing facility in Dunmanbridge.
Work is due to start during the middle of 2017 on the 37-acre site, which will be made up of 18,000 solar modules.
It's estimated the solar farm will provide around a fifth of the company's energy needs.
Nick Whelan, group chief executive at Dale Farm, said: "Dale Farm is delighted to be leading the way in the global dairy industry by powering our site in Co Tyrone with green energy. This will not only be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland - we understand it will be one of the most significant solar projects supplying renewable energy to dairy producers worldwide.
"Dale Farm is committed to sustainability and the opportunity to procure solar electricity will aid the company in lowering our carbon footprint and in reducing our operating costs."
Tom Marren, chief executive at CES Energy, said the new solar farm "is an important milestone".
"This project continues CES Energy's focus on financing on-site energy infrastructure projects which provide cost savings for our customers globally. After nearly 20 years of delivering similar projects in Australia, Saudi Arabia and across the UK in the energy, water and waste sectors, we see it as a key solution for delivering cost efficiencies and reduced carbon for our customers."