Two of Ireland’s key meat processors are ramping up investment in renewable energy projects to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Cavan-based Liffey Meats has submitted a planning application for a four megawatt solar farm at its site in Ballyjamesduff. Liffey Energy Limited submitted the plans for the development, which spans over five hectares on land close to the processing plant.
The footprint of the development will be around 40% of the site and sheep will be able to graze the grass between panels.
In combination with existing wind energy, Liffey Meats says this will significantly reduce its reliance on fossil-fuel generated electricity. The plant will have an operational life of 35 years.
Last week, Meath-based rendering plant College Proteins submitted a planning application for an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to process 50,000t of organic feedstock each year.
The AD plant will produce biomethane which will be used on site, off-setting around 45% of the fossil fuels it uses. The company has already developed a 3MW solar farm and biodiesel plant on site.
The plant will use a diverse range of feedstock, much of which will be sourced from a 70km radius.
This includes glycerine, food processing sludge, food waste from restaurants and supermarkets, poultry litter, belly grass, waste from dairies and breweries as well as silage, maize, fodder beet and slurry.
Around 46,500 tonnes of digestate will be produced from the plant and will be spread on farms.