Eli Lilly seeks permission to expand Ireland’s ‘largest solar farm’ to sustainably power its Kinsale plant


Eli Lilly, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies with a significant presence in Ireland, has applied for planning permission for a substantial expansion of “the country’s largest solar farm”.

Over a year, the Dunderrow Solar Farm Extension would generate approximately 5,000 Megawatt (MW) hours of sustainable power and reduce the nearby Eli Lilly plant’s carbon footprint by 2,000 tonnes per year.

In addition, it will mean more than 75pc of the Eli Lily site’s future total power demand of around 10.5MW would be sourced from renewable electricity.

Bioenergy Power Systems Limited, which trades as Enerpower, submitted the planning application to Cork County Council for the site in Dunderrow, Kinsale, Co Cork. The development would comprise a 5.1MW solar PV farm site to help power Eli Lilly’s nearby pharmaceutical plant.

A spokesman for Eli Lilly said the company had made the planning application for the extension, but would not comment further until Cork County Council had made a decision. However, he added the company had a track record for embracing sustainability.

“Our commitment to sustainability has been consistent over the 40 years that we have operated in Dunderrow,” he said. “The clearest and most visible aspect of that was the opening earlier this summer of the largest solar farm in the country.

“But we have always operated on the reduce, reuse, recycle, recover principle. For example, before the new solar farm opened, we already used a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant that efficiently produces approximately 45pc of the site’s electricity.”

Last month, Taoiseach Micheál Martin opened Eli Lilly’s 16-acre, €5m, 5.6MW solar farm near Kinsale to help power its nearby plant.  

Over its lifetime, it would provide the equivalent energy to power all the households of Kinsale for the next 20 years..

Source – The Irish Independent