Thursday 23 November 2017

Solar farm policy a burning issue - Whelan

David Looby

Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Whelan said the council needs to adopt a solar energy policy in its development plan.

Speaking at last week's meeting of New Ross Municipal District council, Cllr Whelan said: 'There have been a lot of applications for solar energy farms but these companies have no intention of building them until they see what happens with the ESB.'

Deirdre Kearns from Wexford County Council said the local authority aims to develop a renewable energy strategy, adding that it approved 14 applications for solar energy farms in recent years, but refused the most recent application on the grounds that the planned farm was too large, a decision which was backed by An Bord Pleanala. 'The ESB have no agreement with any of them at the moment,' she said.

Cllr Larry O'Brien said sales representatives from these companies have been visiting people in rural areas across the district trying to buy land from them. 'People are being caught out. People are signing pieces of paper.'

Cllr John Fleming said there are no guidelines in place, adding that there will be consequences for communities if these companies go bust. Ms Kearns said a council official travelled to England to look at their solar enegy farms with a view to formulating the local authority's policy.

New Ross Standard

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