A Government framework is to be formed to help guide An Bord Pleanála on their windfarm planning decisions.
It should be finalised by late 2014 according to Minister Pat Rabbitte, but some applications,including those from Element Power, could be lodged months earlier.
Fine Gael Chairman and Laois/Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan says local communities will have their say.
“It is important that there is an open and transparent process for any individual or community that wishes to input their concerns. This will allow for all stakeholders to be consulted directly on national policy,” he said.
He said a revision of the 2006 guidelines on wind energy will begin later this year, calling them ‘outdated and obsolete’.
‘Key issues of concern such as noise, proximity, and visual amenity will be examined.
No community will have wind farms foisted upon them unwillingly and I would urge them to use these forums to air their concerns,” he said.
Element Power recently announced €250 million will be given to midlands communities over the 25 year lifespan of their turbines, through community, education, enterprise and energy grants.
““We have seen first-hand the desperate effects which emigration has had on many parts of the Midlands. By creating employment as well as offering financial support to sporting organisations and groups, we intend to make a real and positive contribution,” a spokesperson said.