18 Aug 2022

Castleblayney gets Ireland's biggest solar panel system


Castleblayney gets Ireland's biggest solar panel system

Castleblayney-based Kingspan Insulation is using its roof space to generate clean, renewable electricity, resulting in savings for the business without any upfront capital costs.

The 300kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, consisting of 1,200 panels, becomes the largest solar PV project in the Republic of Ireland. It is expected that the system will save over 3500 tons of CO2 over the project life.

The project was developed and installed by Kingspan ESB, a joint venture company delivering funded rooftop solar PV systems. In the Funded Solar model a business pays for the energy it consumes from the Solar PV system, and not the capital cost of the system itself. It was part-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) as an innovative demonstration project with a unique financing structure and a bespoke performance monitoring system.

Providing about 15 percent of the factory’s annual daytime load, all of the electricity generated by the system is purchased and used onsite by Kingspan Insulation. The project also contributes to Kingspan Group’s Net Zero sustainability targets and ESB’s generation decarbonisation ambitions.

Fergus Sharkey, General Manager at Kingspan ESB, says: “The installation of the country’s largest solar PV system at Kingspan Insulation in Castleblayney is a significant milestone for renewable energy.

Almost 100 percent of the energy generated by the solar PV system will be used directly on site by Kingspan Insulation helping them control their energy costs and reduce CO2 contribution. It is the first ‘funded’ PV project in the Republic, where the consumer pays for the energy produced from the system with no upfront capital cost. With solar PV installations still relatively rare in Ireland, the project will also provide a research platform for staff and students at Dundalk IT”

Kevin O’Grady, Operations Director at Kingspan Insulation, says: “We are very pleased to have the largest solar PV system in Ireland operating at our facility. The project helps us meet our 2020 Net-Zero Energy targets, while also helping to control energy costs, with no capital investment from ourselves. The installation of the project had no impact on our business operations, and has no visual impact on our facility.”

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