New £50m Co Antrim solar farm up and running
A NEW £50 million solar farm in Co Antrim is now up and running, delivering enough energy to power 14,000 homes.
The 194-acre Bann Road Solar Farm in Rasharkin will provide enough green energy to offset nearly a million tonnes of Co2 over its lifetime and is largest project of its kind ever developed on the island of Ireland.
Construction began in December, with Bann Road being energised last month.
Irish owned solar energy company, Elgin Energy originated and developed the project before partnering with international renewables company, BayWa r.e. to deliver the construction and ongoing operation.
The Bann Road Solar Farm will also make a substantial contribution to the local community, with funds administered by the Rasharkin Community Association and the Finvoy Young Farmers' Association.
Elgin Energy managing director Ronan Kilduff described the opening of the new solar farm as a "red-letter day" for solar energy on the island of Ireland.
"We're excited that the industry is beginning to grow and develop on this side of the Irish Sea playing its part in addressing the very real challenge of climate change. The total output of the projects on which agreement has been reached between Elgin and BayWa r.e. in 2016 now stands at 76MW," he said.
Bay Wa r.e solar projects managing director described the company's first solar project in Northern Ireland as a "perfect fit".
"The Irish market is in an early stage of development and we expect to see a lot more growth here as Northern Ireland seeks to meet an increasing amount of its energy needs from renewable sources," he said.