Green light for Kildare solar farm

Two more in pipeline

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

The green light has been given for one of Kildare's first ever solar farms.

Solas Éireann Development Ltd has been given permission for the installation of 38,600 solar panels on ground mounted frames on 41.7 acres at Confey, Leixlip.

The panels have an export capacity of 10 mega watts of energy.

The plans also include nine substations, security fencing, CCTV, electrical cabling and ducting.

The plans were revised and included a Natura Impact Statement, road safety audit, “swept path” analysis and revised layout of the facility.

Twenty seven conditions were set out by Kildare County Council and the developer will have to fork out €100,000 in development levies.

Meanwhile, a decision on the future of an Athy solar farm is due on Monday (March 20).

Renewable Energy Systems Ltd., (RES Ltd.) wants to construct temporary (27 year) ground-mounted solar panels on a 29 acre site at Moatstown Development Site, Milltown.

The council had requested the company to supply information on grassland reseeding and maintenance of the site including mowing/grazing.

The Municipal District engineer expressed concerns about the condition of the lane used to access the site. Planners also wanted information on traffic management, the route of electric cables and their connection to the national grid.

On February 21 the company submitted further information, and also set out a strategy for providing additional information at a later date, where it was not currently possible to do so.

It said, if the development was approved, any outstanding issues could be dealt with by way of planning conditions.

RES Ltd also plans to submit a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan as well as a Construction and Traffic Management Plan.

Meanwhile, a third application for an 88 acre solar farm near Johnstownbridge is also being considered by the council.

Further information has been sought by the local authority about groundworks, grid connection route, traffic, site layout and decommisioning.

It also asked it to address concerns raised by Inland Fisheries Ireland in relation to cabling.

Power Capital Renewable Energy Limited wants to build a 25 megawatt farm made up of 86,200 photovoltaic panels on ground mounted frames at Dysart.

The site is 10km from Ballynafagh Lake Special Area of Conservation and the developers believe that because of this distance, the farm would have no impact on that site.