A Limerick-based green energy company has announced it is commencing pre-planning consultation with local communities and stakeholders in relation to a new wind energy development.
The Ballycar Green Energy project, a proposed 12-turbine windfarm on a 140-hectare site near Meelick, East Clare will have the capacity to power more than 30,000 homes. This site has been zoned as strategic and acceptable in principle by Clare County Council as part of the Clare County Development Plan 2017 – 2023 (Renewable Energy Designation) due to its strategic regional and national importance and the favourable conditions for wind energy generation.
Onshore wind energy projects such as Ballycar Green Energy form a key part of the Government’s plan to enhance clean electricity generation, reduce CO2 emissions, meet Ireland’s environmental targets and to move towards a more secure energy future.
Ballycar Green Energy will work in partnership with residents in the local area to form a committee that will oversee the administration of a Community Benefit Fund, estimated at €3.75 million over the first 15 years of the project. The committee will be established once the project successfully completes the planning permission process and will manage direct financial payments for projects to support community development, education, recreation, health, social inclusion, heritage and culture.
The project will also support the creation of local employment, in the supply, construction and maintenance sectors. Based on SEAI estimates, this will be in the region of 180 direct and indirect jobs. In addition, Ballycar Green Energy has committed to utilizing local suppliers where possible.
Ballycar Green Energy is managed by Irish renewable energy firm Greensource, an innovative Irish owned and managed company, specialising in the development and management of renewable energy projects.
Speaking about the project, Greensource said: “We look forward to engaging with people and businesses in the local community over the coming weeks and months to tell them more about our plans and take on board their views as we begin to shape our proposed plans for Ballycar Green Energy. As an indigenous Irish firm, we believe in working in partnership with the community to deliver wind energy projects that are socially responsible, with substantial benefits to the community and where community participation plays a central role in how the development progresses.”
The community engagement process will include house to house visits, meeting with various stakeholders and stakeholder groups, and regular updates via a range of platforms including the project website: www.ballycargreenenergy.ie. All engagement activities will be undertaken in accordance with the best advice given by Government in relation to Covid-19 and in line with the latest public health guidelines.