Wind scheme decision now on fast track
A PLANNED €100m wind farm by Bord na Móna and its Powergen subsidiary in south Longford has been designated a strategic infrastructure development by An Bord Pleanála, paving the way for a rapid decision on the 90MW scheme.
Bord na Móna said the project would be one of the largest wind farms in the country, and the first in Co Longford.
As strategic infrastructure, a planning application for the Derryadd wind farm can now be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, rather than first going to the local council.
Bord na Móna unveiled the planned wind farm project in 2015. It will be built on cutaway peatlands on the Derryadd, Derryaroge and Lough Bannow bogs in south Co Longford. The bogs extend over 2,300 hectares.
Bord na Móna and Powergen originally planned to deploy 29 massive turbines on the bogs.
But although the number of planned turbines was reduced this year to 24, the wind farm will still be capable of generating up to 96 MW of power.
The number of planned turbines was cut after the Government published a preferred draft approach last year for the development of wind farms.
The semi-state told the planning watchdog that the capital investment required for the project "represents a significant economic contribution to the region and the state".
"The proposal will assist in meeting national renewable energy targets and will result in significant reductions in carbon emissions from electricity generation and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels," it said.