Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 22 April 2019

Wind farm goes to court over grid connection works

Stock photo
Stock photo

Tim Healy

A windfarm company has gone to court in a row over its efforts to get connected to the national grid.

Derrysallagh Windfarm has to hook up to the grid by December next year but it claims threatened litigation by a farmer over the running of cables under a public road near his lands could cause delays. The wind farm will have 12 turbines.

The grid connection works between Derryssallagh Windfarm in Knockroe, Derrysallagh, Co Sligo and the substation in Garvaghy, Co Leitrim involves placing cable under the existing public road through various townlands including the lands of Thomas Lavin of Derreenavoggy, Arigna, Carrick on Shannon, Co Roscommon.

Derrysallagh Windfarm Ltd is seeking a declaration that the farmer, who has threatened litigation over the matter, has no right or title in the lands under the public road such as would disentitle the wind farm from carrying out grid connection works. 

On Monday, Mr Justice Robnert Haugton admitted the case to the fast track Commercial Court list.

Project manager of Derrysallagh Windfarm, Denis Calnan, said in an affidavit that should the grid connection works not be completed at all then the company will have incurred in excess of €50million  in capital expenditure without any return.

Mr Lavin, said is the owner of lands adjoining the route of the grid connection of the windfarm. Mr Lavin claims to own land underneath the public road where the windfarm laid ducting to the grid connection between November 2016 and May 2017.

The wind farm company intends to recommence the grid connection works once final planning consents are obtained, Mr Calnan said.

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The grid connection works must be complete by the end of December 2019. 

Given that Mr Lavin is refusing to withdraw his threat to institute proceedings in respect of his alleged entitlement, the wind farm company wished the issues to be determined as soon as possible, he said. 

Any proceedings could take at least nine months to resolve and given the time it will take to complete the grid connection works Derrysallagh needs to take steps to ensure a determination of the claim as soon as possible, he said.

The wind farm was granted planning permission in April 2013 and a later appeal was withdrawn.

The court heard Mr Lavin was objecting to the admission of the case to the commercial list. The case will come back before the court in October.

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