Thursday 20 July 2017

Airport gets go-ahead for solar farm to power reservoir

Ireland’s largest wind farm, Energia’s 95MW facility at Meenadreen, south Donegal. Photo: Thomas McNulty
Ireland’s largest wind farm, Energia’s 95MW facility at Meenadreen, south Donegal. Photo: Thomas McNulty
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin Airport has secured planning permission to build a small solar farm that will help power a large reservoir that delivers 500 million litres of water to the airport every year.

The DAA, which operates Dublin and Cork airports, said that the solar arrays will provide as much as 50pc of the reservoir's power needs. The array will stretch over 650 sq m, according to planners.

It will be connected directly to the pumping station adjoining the covered reservoir, allowing the electricity it generates to be connected to the airport's internal power network.

"However, it is intended that the electricity generated by the proposed development will contribute to the energy requirements of the reservoir, which provides 500,000 m3 of water per annum to the Dublin Airport campus," according to DAA planners.

They added: "The solar array can provide over 50pc of the energy requirement of the reservoir. The solar array is essentially a renewable energy project, and is therefore considered to have environmentally sustainable benefits."

Every year Dublin Airport uses the same amount of water as 200 Olympic-sized pools.

The airport has a large number of infrastructure projects under way, the biggest of which is the €320m construction of a new runway and associated works.

It has also been upgrading Terminal 1 and is seeking a partner to build what will be one of the country's biggest hotels, which will connect to T2.

Dublin Airport handled almost 28 million passengers last year.

This year is likely to be even busier, with new services to the US and Middle East. Meanwhile, energy firm Energia said that a 95-megawatt wind farm it built in Donegal - the country's biggest - has begun supplying electricity. The wind farm, at Meenadreen, involved a €145m investment.

It contains 38 turbines and is capable of producing enough electricity to power 50,000 homes. Energia said that since 2008, it has invested more than €350m in developing and constructing wind farms in Ireland. The new wind farm is expected to cut Ireland's annual carbon emissions by about 100,000 tonnes.

Irish Independent

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