Offaly farmers claim Bord na Móna is 'blocking' €120m wind farm

Protestors from Derryarkin, Co Offaly pictured outside the Bord na Móna headquarters in Newbridge, Co Kildare last week. Photo: Aishling Conway
Protestors from Derryarkin, Co Offaly pictured outside the Bord na Móna headquarters in Newbridge, Co Kildare last week. Photo: Aishling Conway
Farming Independent Team

Farming Independent Team

A group of Offaly farmers are demanding action over delays to a wind farm development on their lands.

The farmers allege that Bord na Móna is blocking an underground grid connection for the Yellow River Wind Farm at Derryarkin near Rhode by not allowing the laying of underground cables beneath one of the company's rail lines.

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An Bord Pleanála granted permission to the Wexford-based Green Wind Energy Ltd for the 29-turbine development in 2014 despite local and environmental opposition and the refusal of county councillors in Offaly to back the proposal in principle.

The wind farm has been in the pipeline since 2010 and is valued at €120m.

Objection

In 2017, An Bord Pleanála also found that a connection between the 100kv substation of the Yellow River Windfarm and the National Grid is an "exempted development" and, therefore, does not require additional planning permission.

It does, however, require consent from landowners along the line of connection, including Bord na Móna.

Bord na Móna lodged an objection to the original application by Green Wind Energy Ltd in 2014. In total, there were 84 objections lodged with Offaly County Council.

Farmers who stand to benefit financially from the wind farm claim Bord na Móna is employing "anti-competitive practices" by not consenting to the underground connection.

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Bord na Móna declined to comment on the farmers' claims.

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