Kildare was ruled out of Mainstream’s plans to build wind turbines in the midlands because of its high population density, according to the company.
At its first public briefing in Clonbullogue last Wednesday September 18, Mainstream confirmed it has signed up only three to four Kildare farmers to build wind turbines as part of the Clonbullogue cluster.
“We do not have any stand alone developments in Kildare,” confirmed Diarmuid Twomey, Mainstream Development Manager for Ireland.
However, 100 farmers from West Kildare have signed up with Element Power’s Greenwire project to allow wind turbines on their land. It is unclear how many will be built in Kildare but Element’s Greenwire project provides for a total of 750 across the midlands.
A third player on the future of wind energy in Kildare is Bord na Mona. It received planning permission for a wind monitoring mast near Rathangan to assess the viability of wind farm development. The company recently applied for a second similar mast near Timahoe. Some community members are concerned about the possible affects turbines could have on their health, property values, livestock and the horse breeding industry. The companies involved dispute those claims and say there are lots of people living near turbines all over the world with no problems.
Local action group, South Kildare Against Spin, which is based in Kildangan, has been a strong opposition voice.
The Clonbullogue Rathangan Bracknagh Wind Turbine Awareness Group is holding an information meeting in Rathangan Community Centre this Tuesday September 24 at 8pm. Speaker Henry Fingleton will give an over view of the plans while Andrew Dunken from the Lakelands Wind Farm Awareness Group in Westmeath will discuss property values.
The Clonbullogue Rathangan Bracknagh group held a protest at the Mainstream briefing last week to highlight its concerns.