Lidl has welcomed a grant of planning from Kildare County Council for the installation of energy-saving solar panels at its distribution centre in Newbridge, which is currently under construction. 

This installation will see an investment of €1 million at this site, adding to the €1m already committed by Lidl to solar power installations across its store network.

Once installed, the solar panels at the facility will produce over a million kilowatt hours of energy, which, the company says, is equivalent to meeting the electricity requirements of 240 homes and reduces the centres carbon output by some 473 tonnes annually. 

As a result of this investment over one quarter of Lidl's energy requirements will now be generated by solar power. Lidl will work with Waterford based Enerpower, who will supply the 4364 individual panels, which will be installed on the roof of the distribution facility  making this Irelands largest ever installation of PV solar panels. 

Meanwhile, Glanbia has announced details of FarmGen, a new farm generated renewable energy initiative in partnership with SSE Airtricity and Activ8 Solar Energies.

Following rooftop installation, FarmGen's 6Kw Solar PV system will help power energy intensive processes on farm, reducing the costs of milk cooling, vacuum pumps and water heating.

The solar PV panels along with a smart monitoring system will be installed by Activ8 Solar Energies.

The system will then monitor energy generation and consumption in real-time.

Farms will also have export meters installed that enable them to potentially profit from future incentives to return electricity on to the grid.