November 22 (Renewables Now) - Northern Ireland Water Ltd said this week it has started work on developing a 4.99-MWp solar farm that will supply power to its Dunore water treatment works in South Antrim.
The GBP-7-million (USD 9.3m/EUR 7.9m) solar array, to be located on the shore of Lough Neagh, is expected to be completed by March 2018.
Chief executive Sara Venning said the project will contribute to the company's goal of increasing the share of renewables in its electricity consumption from around 13% now to 40% in 2020/21.
The government-owned water and sewerage services provider is the largest user of electricity in Northern Ireland and the Dunore site accounts for 7% of its annual energy consumption. The company expects the solar farm to result in more than GBP 500,000 in annual savings on energy costs.
In addition to meeting the Dunore facility's energy needs, the solar project will provide spare capacity to the grid.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.324/EUR 1.126)