Industry & Business

Bord na Móna going green by 2030

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Bord na Móna going green by 2030

October 06
08:49 2015

BordnaMona_2930Bord na Móna plans to stop harvesting peat by 2030 in what it described as the “biggest change of land use in modern Irish history”.

It will invest in green energy production, including wind and solar farms, and ramp-up production of biomass to fuel its Edenderry power plant.

About 15,000 hectares of willow will be planted and converted into 300,000 tonnes of biomass fuel, which will be used to produce electricity at the Co Offaly plant, it said.

It also plans to rehabilitate substantial areas of bog and develop new wildlife habitats to promote eco-tourism, as peat harvesting ends across 51,000 hectares of bog within 15 years.

The company controls around 81,000 hectares of land in total, which includes 130 bogs, and plans to develop a wind farm every year out to 2022 with business partners. Last year, its Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farms commenced operations, and there is “potential” for communities to take an equity stake in the projects.

The Sustainability 2030 plan notes that Bord na Móna is already the largest user of biomass in the State, with 320,000 tonnes consumed last year. It is working with the ESB to convert two stations to biomass, and is also developing a biomass briquette.

The company also plans to invest in large-scale solar projects, which would produce a minimum of 10MW (megawatts) of power – enough for at least 5,500 homes. Solar farms of around 50MW are eventually planned.

“By 2030 we will cease harvesting energy peat. We will use the land to continue to underpin Ireland’s energy independence, only now we will be using green sustainable energy sources such as wind, biomass and solar power,” chief executive Mike Quinn said.

“The move means that our carbon profile, which is already falling fairly dramatically, will see a very substantial deceleration.

“Add in the positive improvements in biodiversity across vast areas of land and you have a change of at least national significance.”

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