Biggest solar farm on island to power Dale Farm Cookstown

Dale Farm Group Operations Director, Chris McAlinden, alongside Group Chief Executive of Dale Farm Nick Whelan and Chief Executive of CES Energy, Tom Marren.   Pic: Brian Morrison

Dale Farm Group Operations Director, Chris McAlinden, alongside Group Chief Executive of Dale Farm Nick Whelan and Chief Executive of CES Energy, Tom Marren. Pic: Brian Morrison

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Dale Farm will soon be a green energy leader in the global dairy sector following confirmation that its new ‘private wire’ solar farm in Cookstown will be built in 2017.

The largest of its kind on the island of Ireland, the planned solar plant is thought to be one of the largest in the dairy sector worldwide.

Working with CES Energy, a pioneering international provider of renewable energy, it is estimated the sun farm will meet 20 per cent of Dale Farm’s energy requirements at its cheese processing facility in Dunmanbridge.

Construction is due to start mid 2017 on the 37 acre site, which will be made up of more than 18,000 solar modules at the 5MW solar farm.

Nick Whelan, Group Chief Executive at Dale Farm, said the company is “breaking new ground” with the venture.

“Dale Farm is delighted to be leading the way in the global dairy industry by powering our site in County Tyrone with green energy,” he said.

“We understand it will be one of the most significant solar projects supplying renewable energy to dairy producers worldwide.”

Committed to sustainability, he added: “The considerable savings delivered from solar power will be reinvested to optimise efficiency across our processing plants, which ultimately adds to our ability to pay a higher milk price.”

The vast energy reduction at the plant will save 2,460 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent of taking 1,170 cars off the road.

Tom Marren, Chief Executive at CES Energy, headquartered in Dublin, said the new solar farm “is an important milestone for CES Energy” which demonstrates the opportunities solar energy presents for the island.