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Dairygold to power its processing plants with renewable solar electricity from Co-Op member’s farm

Dairygold to power its processing plants with renewable solar electricity from Co-Op member’s farm

11th March 2024

In a unique and ground-breaking move, Dairygold has become the first dairy processor in Ireland to sign a corporate Power Purchase Agreement (cPPA) with one of its own Farmer Members.

The agreement between Dairygold and local Grain Supplier, Michael Quirk, will see Dairygold purchase 5,000 MWh per year of renewable solar energy from Lurrig Solar Farm, located on Michael’s farm in Aghada, Co. Cork to provide electricity for Dairygold’s processing operations. Michael developed the solar farm on his farmland in 2022.

Speaking about the agreement, Dairygold Interim Chief Executive Michael Harte said: “We’re delighted to enter this agreement with Lurrig Solar Farm. It is the first of its kind in the industry and brings together a leading dairy co-operative with a farmer supplier to source locally produced renewable electricity for Dairygold’s world class dairy processing facilities. Pioneering developments like this represent important progress on the implementation of our sustainability strategy.”

On signing the agreement, Dairygold Supplier and Lurrig Farm owner Michael Quirk said: “As a family farmer and member of Dairygold Co-Operative for more than four decades, both Rose and I are delighted to be involved in this groundbreaking agreement with our Co-Op. We are proud to be a part of Dairygold’s continuing sustainability journey. When we began farming here at Lurrig, the renewable energy industry did not exist, but today it is a central facet in all of our lives. We hope today’s announcement will serve as encouragement for farmers to embrace opportunities in this area.”

The agreement is just one of the many initiatives undertaken by Dairygold as part of its decarbonisation programme for its processing and transport operations. Other recent programmes include the development of the decarbonisation roadmap for processing, the launch of the FarmGen Solar PV programme to Dairygold’s suppliers and the installation of solar PV at Dairygold’s Lombardstown Mill.