Local residents to host public meeting tonight over plans for Kildare wind farm

Drehid Against Wind Turbines meeting at The Hamlet Court Hotel

Leinster Leader reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Leader reporter

Email:

editor@leinsterleader.ie

Local residents to host public meeting tonight over plans for North West Kildare wind farm

File photo

Drehid Against Wind Turbines will host a public meeting tonight in The Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstownbridge to discuss plans for a wind farm in North West Kildare.

The meeting is scheduled for 8pm. The residents have expressed their anger over a new planning application for 12 industrial wind turbines by North Kildare Wind Farm Ltd.

The 12 turbines, if approved, will be located on both Coillte and private lands in the areas of Ballynamullagh, Coolree, Drehid, Dunfierth, Killyon, Kilmurry and Mulgeeth.

The previous wind developer, Element Power Ltd which was involved in the proposed 46 turbine Maighne wind farm which spanned North West Kildare and South Meath, has sold it's company to Statkraft, a Norwegian company.

This new application singles out the Drehid Cluster of the original Maighne project, which was refused twice by An Bord Pleanala. Element Power had originally proposed 14 turbines for Drehid, but has reduced that by two in the planning application. 

A new group, Drehid Against Wind Turbines formed when the the plans were first mooted, and it said it will be helping people with their objections against this "outrageous proposal".

"The outdated 2006 Wind Energy Guidelines were published when wind turbines were 50 metres in height. New Wind Energy Guidelines have been promised by Fine Gael since 2014 and still have not been published in spite of 7,500 submissions. There is still no protection for communities from these loud roaring industrial monsters. Kildare constituents have been badly let down by this Government," said a spokesperson. 

"Nothing has changed in the feelings of the residents of Kildare since the 'Maighne Wind Farm' refusal and vow to fight this new application."

When contacted for a response, the PR company representing Element Power said; “The Drehid wind farm proposal is being brought forward by Statkraft which acquired Element Power Ireland in October of his year.  Statkraft has a long history in the development of renewable energy projects and is committed to the ethical and responsible development of pure energy in order to assist in our transition to becoming a low carbon economy.

"From the outset, we have sought to encourage real community involvement in a project that will deliver real climate action. Our focus has been to develop a proposal that will make a positive difference for the environment, future generations and for the people who live in the locality today.

"We have engaged directly with over 260 households in the local and wider Drehid area to seek feedback on how this proposal could work best. This feedback has led to the reduction in the number of turbines being proposed from 14 turbines to 12, the distances between houses and turbines has been increased and we have committed to zero shadow flicker at any houses in the local area."

It said whilst these changes have "reduced the potential output of green energy from the wind farm, we believe that this proposal sets an example of how positive engagement between renewable energy proposers and local communities during the design stages, can lead to exemplary projects that work well in local communities and bring benefits at both a local and national level.”