New 7.3MW solar array to power part of MSD’s Irish site

It will help reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 2,336 tonnes every year and support its 2025 carbon-neutral goal

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A 7.3MW ground-mounted solar array, claimed to be the largest of its kind in Ireland, has been powered up.

Pharmaceutical firm MSD Ireland (Merck & Co) announced the official opening of the new 7.3MW project, which will generate up to 20% of the the electricity needs of its site in County Tipperary.

It will help reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 2,336 tonnes every year and support its goal to achieve carbon-neutrality across its operations by 2025.

The project was developed by MSD Ballydine – which develops and supplies the active ingredients and final formulated product for a range of innovative medicines – in partnership with ESB’s Smart Energy Services.

Leo Varadkar TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said: “Congratulations to MSD and the ESB on this ground-breaking project. It’s our responsibility to leave the planet in a better place than we found it. It’ll take a huge effort from all parts of society and enterprise has a pivotal role to play.

“By investing in Ireland’s largest solar project, which will fulfil over 20% of MSD Ballydine’s energy needs. MSD is taking the lead, while also securing a renewable energy source for its operations into the future, which we know now more than ever is crucial. It’s really fantastic to see such innovation and leadership. The very best of luck to the teams involved.”

ESB’s Smart Energy Services provided the upfront capital required to build, operate and maintain the solar system while MSD will pay for the power generated by the solar array through a power purchase agreement (PPA) over the next 20 years.

Brian Killen – AVP Operations and Plant Manager, MSD Ballydine addeD: “Here at Ballydine, we are very proud of this project and the difference it will make to how we operate and do business and what we can do to improve our environmental impact. The solar project will enable our site to reduce our carbon footprint by 2,336 tonnes every year and it will play a key part in our overall renewable energy agenda.

“Across our global network, we are committed to ambitious goals, including our commitment to a 46% reduction in operations greenhouse gas by 2030 and to source 100% of our electricity from renewables by 2025. These goals build on MSD’s long-standing focus of supporting the global effort to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. As a company committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability, at Ballydine we are delighted to partner with the ESB to help us deliver this project that will help us to achieve our goals.”