What is this opportunity about?
Statkraft Ireland has achieved final planning consent for Moanvane Wind Farm which will be located in Co Offaly. The initial planning application was submitted in 2017 and since then it has received planning approval from both Offaly County Council and An Bord Pleanála. This project will consist of 12 turbines with a maximum tip height of 169m and has an associated 6km amenity walkway. With an installed capacity in the region of 48MW, it will have the potential to provide pure, renewable electricity to over 35,000 Irish homes. It is proposed to connect this wind farm to the electricity grid system at the nearby Mountlucas substation. Details of this connection are outlined on the "Grid Connection" Page.
Why consider this area?
In establishing if a location may be suitable for a renewable energy project, there are a number of criteria that are considered. In terms of this, it was noted that this area is designated with a capacity for wind energy development under the Offaly County Development Plan and the wind speeds in this area are suitable for wind energy. The nature of settlement in the area allows for separation from towns, villages and individual houses and there would be no direct impacts on environmentally designated areas or on cultural heritage. The area allows suitable access to the Irish electricity grid system and the area is accessible from a construction point of view. In terms of existing development in the area, Mount Lucas wind farm is located nearby and assessment was carried out during the design stage to ensure that the proposed development will be appropriate in this context.
Where is this area?
The proposed wind farm is located:
2.3km northeast of the village green in Cloneygowan
2.9km southwest of the Post Office in Walsh Island
4.2km northwest of the old Post office in Portarlington
5.2 km southeast of the village green in Geashill.
Who have we spoken to about this project?
We commenced meeting people in the area in December 2016 and since then we have endeavored to speak to as many people living in the local area as possible. We have held in excess of 550 meeting with individuals in the area and distributed over 700 leaflets, booklets and brochures in the wider area. Whilst meeting with people we actively sought feedback on how this proposal might work best in the area and the literature distributed provided information and updates on the project as it developed. We have worked to ensure that, not only all people in the local area, but all people living in the villages of Walsh Island and Cloneygowan received information on the project and were aware of the proposal. This project website was also developed as a means of providing information to the general public along with our 'Contact Us' facility to allow further engagement should anyone require further information or a meeting with one of our community liaison team.
What changes were made following consultation?
- Initially 15 turbines were proposed but during our design and consultation process this reduced to 12
- The initially proposed separation distances between houses and turbines was increased
- We have reduced the permitted level of Shadow Flicker to Zero - This eliminates the possibility of Shadow Flicker at homes in the area
- We have altered the location of access roads
- Local views influenced the location of the proposed Substation
- We have included a commitment to direct benefits for homes within 1km
- We are developing a mechanism to allow community investment
- We have committed to the development of an Amenity Walkway and Cycle Track near Cloneygowan
- We are developing a scheme aimed at maximising the local economic benefit for the project . This would inform local businesses of the opportunities available and would facilitate and assist them in applying for work or contracts during the construction and operational stages of the project
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have stated that in 2018 wind energy:
- Avoided 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions
- Wind energy accounted for 85% of all renewable energy generated in 2018
Wind Turbines can save the carbon required for their manufacture and construction within 6-8 months
Studies have been carried out which confirm that wind turbines can generate enough green electricity to displace the amount of carbon used in the manufacture and construction within 6-8 months of operation. After this, all electricity generated displaces carbon which would be released from burning fossil fuels.