The businessman behind plans to construct a €200 million wind farm in west Clare has admitted that it may be five or six years before it becomes operational.
Director of West Clare Renewable Energy Ltd Pádraig Howard said that the project may not be operational until the Government changed how connections to the national grid were allocated.
Earlier this year, the company lodged an application for the 31 turbine 410 ft high wind farm on 3,000 acres of upland around Mount Callan over the Atlantic, that would produce sufficient energy to power 59,000 homes.
The project is facing local opposition, but during its 20-year operational phase, the wind farm could provide a windfall of €15.5 million to 30 farm families in the area.
For wind farms to proceed, they require a connection to the grid; currently grid connections are being allocated through the Government’s “gate three” process.
Mr Howard has admitted that the company is towards the end of the queue for the grid connection. “We applied in 2007,” he said. “We are well down the list.”