Thursday 9 April 2009

Clare set to get third wind farm

A THIRD wind farm for Co Clare is set to get the green light this year as part of the Government’s bid to increase its electricity from green sources to 20 per cent by 2020.

In 2003, Hibernian Windpower Ltd secured planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for the construction of a 350 ft high five turbine wind farm at High Street, Lissycasey.

Clare County Council had refused planning permission for a 10-turbine wind farm in an upland bog area and the appeals board granted planning to five of the turbines after Hibernian Windpower Ltd appealed the decision.

The council refused planning permission for the proposal due to fears that it could have an effect on 80 acres of upland active blanket bog 3km from Lissycasey.

Seven wind farms have been given planning permission in Clare, however the difficulties in securing a grid connection has resulted in only two wind farms proceeding: at Moanmore near Kilrush and Booltiagh near Connolly.

However, prior to Hibernian securing planning permission, the Commission for Energy Regulation imposed a moratorium in December 2003 on the issuing of new connection offers for wind farms to the national grid, thus stopping the wind farm from proceeding.

However, with the moratorium now lifted, Hibernian Windpower expects a grid connection for the wind farm to be issued in 2009.

Applying to the council for an extension in the planning permission, Hibernian Windpower states: “Substantial progress has been achieved in completing this project and significant services and engineering that are fundamental to achieving substantial works have been completed.”

The company says the application for extension of time arises from the unavoidable and unplanned delay in getting the project under way.

Irish Times

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