IFA backs economic benefits of windfarms at Tullamore Conference

THE IFA looks on windfarms as an economic benefit and is focussed on securing the best possible deal for farmers, the Energy Bridge Conference in Tullamore was told last week.

THE IFA looks on windfarms as an economic benefit and is focussed on securing the best possible deal for farmers, the Energy Bridge Conference in Tullamore was told last week.

“We have a very clear view that we are pro development and will assist farmers to get the best possible deals” said Jer Bergin, Chairman of IFA Climate Change and Wind Energy Committee.

“We will provide support during to them during the planning process.

“We are neither the proposer nor the opposer to developments.

“There are other people well placed to look at the merits and demerits of a planning application,” Mr Bergin said.

“We had a very successful negotiation process with Mainstream Renewable Power,” he said.

A deal had been done to ensure five per cent of turnover for farmers.

“We are looking forward to the day that we have a better agreement. We are looking at that figure as a floor,” Mr Bergin said.

“The community benefits have to be very clear.”

He said no farmers should be “dipping into their pockets” in relation to any turbine deals. “We think there are economic benefits for rural Ireland and we want to see he best possible share for farmers,” he said.

The IFA policy is to assist farmers who are approached about windfarms, Mr Bergin said, just as it was involved in negotiations with the NRA and with Eirgrid. Mr Bergin is an IFA presidential candidate.