22 May 2022

Windfall for Offaly County Council as massive solar farm in county given the green light

Plans unveiled for massive solar farm in Offaly

Massive solar farm in Offaly given the green light

A massive solar farm in Offaly has been given the green light by Offaly County Council with a number of conditions attached. 

It will provide a windfall for Offaly County Council as the Development Contribution is close to €500,000.

Ensource Ireland Ltd applied for a ten year permission for the proposed development at Ballindown, Bogderries, Ballywilliam and Ballynaguilsha in Offaly.

Those townlands are just outside Birr off the N52 heading towards Kilcormac. The total development area will be ca. 70.2 hectares. (173.4 acres)

The development will consist of the construction of a Solar PV development with a maximum export capacity (MEC) of up to 40MW comprising of circa 122,904 photovoltaic panels laid out in arrays.

The plans also include the construction of a 38kV substation, a transformer unit and associated buildings.

There will also be 16 Power Hubs which incorporate an inverter and a transformer, a single storey communications building, a client side sub-station building and an equipment storage building.

The plans also include the installation of 10 CCTV cameras mounted on four metre high poles and perimeter security fencing. 

Offaly County Council has granted permission for the project with 21 conditions attached. Among the conditions is a stipulation that the local authority receives a development contribution of €480,000.

It also states that glint and glare from the panels must not present a danger to traffic and that an archaeologist be employed to monitor all groundworks.

It further states that the permission 'shall not be construed as any form of consent or agreement to a connection to the national grid'. The applicant will be required to consult with Offaly County Council before any work to connect to the grid is undertaken. 

CCTV cameras will also be required to be in a fixed position and not directed towards adjoining properties or the public road.

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