Large solar energy farms planned for north Offaly

Gearoid Keegan

Reporter:

Gearoid Keegan

Solar energy farms planned for north Offaly

Solar energy farms planned for north Offaly

ANOTHER large solar energy and electricity storage project is planned for north Offaly.

Offaly Solar Energy AS Ltd is seeking permission for the energy scheme across 53ha at Lackan and Derries between Tullamore and Daingean.

Along with the solar panels, it is proposed that there will be 68 battery storage units and the power generated will be transmitted by an underground cable to the Thornsberry ESB sub-station.

According to the planning application documents, the grid connection will be 9km long and will run under the townlands of Derries, Lackan, Kilmurry, Derrygrogan Little and Big, Wood of O, Carndarragh, Derrynagall, Ballydaly, Puttaghaun and Ardan.
A decision is due from Offaly County Council on March 11.

Meanwhile, the council granted permission on March 9 for an energy storage plant to Vervos Capital Ltd at Clonminch, Tullamore.

This facility will store energy generated by renewable electricity projects, especially wind farms, during periods when there is high generation.

That electricity will then be released onto the national grid during periods of low generation of renewable energy or high demand.

The batteries will be housed in two large shipping-type containers and a 45-metre long cable will connect the power to a 38kv ESB sub-station. In all, the Clonminch batteries will be able to store 10MW of electricity.

Elsewhere, Offaly County Council is still assessing an application for a solar farm proposed by OBM Solar Ltd. It sought permission in October for a solar farm on a 132ha site at Srah, Greenhills and Wood in Rhode.

Further information on the project was sought by the council in December. A battery storage system is also planned and the maximum output of the generating panels would be 110MW.

The company says the solar farm will generate carbon savings of 52,800 tonnes per annum.

An ESB sub-station will have to be constructed on the site and it is proposed that it will in turn connect to the former Rhode power station site.