An Bord Pleanála has granted final planning permission for Castlebanny Wind Farm, a co-development project between FuturEnergy Ireland and ART Generation. The renewable energy development, which comprises 21 wind turbines, is located in southeast Co. Kilkenny. This news comes at a time when our country is in urgent need of increased renewable energy sources to reduce our dependance on imported fossil fuels and to meet climate action targets.
Castlebanny Wind Farm is expected to generate enough clean, green electricity every year to power the equivalent of around 70,000 homes annually. Every year, between 3 million and 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 are expected to be offset compared with traditional electricity generation.
This renewable energy project has the potential to make a significant and lasting positive impact locally in South Kilkenny. Once operational, the project will support a substantial Community Benefit Fund that consists of near neighbour contributions and a wider community fund that provides direct local project funding. Based on the Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), the Community Benefit Fund contributions are estimated to exceed €500,000 per annum for the first 15 years. This means that Castlebanny Wind Farm will contribute more than €7.5 million to the local community during its lifetime.
A boost to the local economy is also expected in the form of an estimated €1.8 million to €2.3 million in annual rates contributions to Kilkenny County Council as well as the provision of on-site recreational amenities and employment opportunities both during construction and operation.
The project will now engage with EirGrid to apply for access to the national grid system and continue with the development activities to be eligible to enter subsequent Government RESS auctions. This phase is likely to take up to two years after which construction can commence.
Paul Gallagher, FuturEnergy Ireland Portfolio Director, said: “While the receipt of planning permission represents an important milestone, we recognise that there is a lot of work remaining to successfully deliver this project with our partner ART Generation. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the local communities of South Kilkenny to harness the project’s potential to contribute significantly towards Ireland’s climate action targets and improve the country’s energy security, while providing social and economic benefits to the local area.”
Richard Walshe, CEO of ART Generation, said: “The world, and indeed the energy world as we know it, has changed significantly in the past seven months. The basic need for energy and the way it affects all aspects of our everyday lives has never been so apparent. This decision from An Bord Pleanála endorses and complements our most basic needs in terms of energy security and environmental sustainability for future generations. We would like to acknowledge the local community in South Kilkenny who have supported the development of Castlebanny Wind Farm over the years.”
If you have any queries regarding this project, please email email@example.com . All project information is available at www.castlebannywindfarm.ie.
Notes to the editor
For press queries, please contact Janine Thomas, FuturEnergy Ireland Communications and Media manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
About FuturEnergy Ireland
FuturEnergy Ireland is a joint venture company owned on a 50:50 basis by Coillte and ESB that is actively driving Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy. The company’s ambition is to develop more than 1GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and make a significant contribution to Ireland’s commitment to produce 80% of electricity from renewable sources by the end of this decade. www.futurenergyireland.ie
About ART Generation
ART Generation is an Irish renewable development company founded in 2002. The company has developed a substantial portfolio in excess of 20 onshore wind farms in Ireland and operates a number of wind farms. It has a large portfolio of Tier 1 onshore and offshore windfarm projects at various stages of development.