Flahavan’s Generate 70% of Energy from Renewables Showing Ireland What’s Possible
Through a combination of biomass, wind, solar and hydro, one of Ireland’s most well-known family businesses, is leading the way in renewable energy innovation.
100%of electricity is from renewables
70%of renewable energy generated on-site
64%annual energy savings
2,000 tonnereduction in carbon footprint
About The Project
Flahavan's commitment to sustainability is demonstrated through their integrated approach to energy use at their mill in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford. They produce 70% of their own energy supply through renewables, have offset their emissions by appx 2,000 t of CO2 annually and have reduced the need for almost half a million litres of diesel.
To initiate their transition to a low carbon food processing facility, Flahavan’s first installed its own on-site wind and water turbines which generate electricity for the mill’s production. In 2015 they installed a 500 kW wind turbine and this now provides them with an average 1,200 MWh of green electricity per year – generating almost 50% of their electricity requirements alone. The mill stream has a water turbine which was purchased in 1935 but which has been upgraded with a modern generator and controls to provide green electricity to the plant. This contributes appx 10% of their electricity requirements to assist with powering the mill.
At Flahavan’s, they kiln the oats with the outer husk on and the husk is then removed and burned to power the boiler, which generates steam for use during the cooking process. All of the heat requirements used in the mill come from this boiler, using approximately 850 tonnes of oat husk annually to fuel it.
In 2017, they installed solar panels on the roof of their grain store with a nominal capacity of 130 kW and this generated 122 MWh in 2018. All new replacement lights have been upgraded to LED and they are currently in the process of replacing older light fittings with these highly efficient bulbs.
Not only are Flahavan’s generating local but they are shopping local too. The oats for the company’s Progress Oatlets are sourced from local farmers within a 60-mile radius of the mill in Kilmacthomas, some of whom have been supplying the mill for many generations.
The company continues to devote much time and resources on becoming 100% energy self-reliant through renewables. A large-scale sustainable packaging project is currently being undertaken by the family to bring their packaging in line with their sustainable energy commitments.
Energy Awards Winner
Flahavan’s took home the SME award at last year’s SEAI Energy Awards. The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards recognise and reward excellence in all aspects of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Covering eight categories in 2020, the competition is open to organisations in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“Sustainability is the lifeblood of Flahavan’s. For a company that has been around for over two hundred years, we have to prepare for the generations to come. Sustainability is taking a long term view instead of short term gains.” says John Flahavan, Managing Director of Flahavans.