Members of the public are invited to attend an awareness meeting to address any concerns or questions pertaining to the proposed Kellystown Wind Farm, which is planned to be situated north of Drogheda.
The Wind Farm Community Awareness Group is holding the event in Drumshallon Forge, Ballymakenny, on Wednesday November 23rd, and anyone who is interested in finding out more about the planned project is welcome to attend.
"This is an informal meeting to gauge community and local residents reactions to the proposed wind farm, and anyone who might be impacted in the area is more than welcome to come along,” says event spokesman and local resident Ray Donagh. “It is an opportunity for anyone to voice concerns or raise any issues there nay be with having this project close to residential areas.”
The proposed Kellystown Wind Farm could power more than 35,000 homes, and project manager EDF Renewables Ireland intend to submit a planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in support of the project, which could consist of up to eight turbines, in late 2023.
The project team is currently gathering wind data and mapping the environmental constraints on site which will be used to create a preliminary wind turbine layout.
Detailed environmental studies will also be carried out at the site, including ecology, noise, landscape and visual assessments. The results of these studies, together with feedback gathered in consultation with local communities, will be used to determine the final wind farm layout and number of turbines.
“Recently, some of the local community were visited by representatives of EDF about the proposed siting of up to eight wind turbines (180m from top to ground tall). Other members received a letter dropped into their postbox while other people received no information at all,” adds the spokesman. “The proposed plan has caused a lot of distress, uncertainty, worry and many unanswered questions. The plan is still at the exploratory stage, however, the general feeling amongst the residents in the immediate vicinity is that no one is in favour.
“There is no doubt that we need renewable energy. We agree wholeheartedly with the appropriate development of green energy in suitable locations. But not in a highly populated residential area such as ours”.
If you live within 5km of the proposed site, the group is asking that you please attend and pass on the word to your neighbours.
"To put it in context, the proposed turbines are each 180m tall from tip to ground, which is equivalent to almost twice the height of the chimney in Platin, three times the height of Liberty Hall (Dublin) and the blades are bigger than a jumbo jet,” explains Ray. “Alongside this the development will entail destruction of the local countryside, biodiversity and archaeological sites”.
On announcing the plan, EDF Renewables Ireland said it is committed to keeping local people informed about its projects.
“The increases consumers and businesses all over the country have experienced in their energy bills over the last few months have highlighted the need for Ireland to stabilise and secure its own renewable energy supply. Ireland has tremendous wind resources but in order to realise that potential we need to construct and connect wind farms to our electricity grid as a matter of urgency if we are to meet rising demand,” said Kevin Daly, Head of Development at EDF Renewables Ireland.
“That is why projects like Kellystown Wind Farm are so important. Not only do they help to lower energy costs and increase our energy security, they will also help Ireland meet its targets of delivering 80% of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade£.
The awareness event takes place in Drumshallon Forge, on Wednesday November 23rd from 8.15pm.