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Carrigaline Solar Farm Plans Gather Momentum

Carrigaline Solar Farm Plans Gather Momentum

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Over the past two years an Irish company, Amarenco, led by former Bord Gáis boss and Chair of the Port of Cork, John Mullins, has been in the process of submitting planning applications to Cork County Council for the development of a solar farm on Church Road, Carrigaline.

Since the original application was submitted, there has been a significant stall in the process as Cork County Council (CCC) sought further information on Amarenco’s plan. In August of this year CCC made it known to the public that such additional information and revised plans had been presented to the Council. According to these proposals Amarenco want to construct a “10 MW solar farm comprising approximately 44,400 photovoltaic panels on ground mounted frames within a site area of 25.8 hectares, 4 no. single storey inverter/transformer stations, 2 no. single storey delivery stations, security fencing, CCTV, and all associated ancillary development works.”

The site in question in Carrigaline is believed to be the boatyard on Church Road. While such plans have been in place for a while, it seems that there is now a gathering of momentum due to the Government’s announcement in July that there will be subsidies for renewable energy. Following that announcement, Amarenco went on to confirm their intention to construct 10 solar farms all around Cork and that the first of these will be completed by the end of 2019.

Each farm will reportedly have the ability to supply enough energy for approximately 1300 homes.

In late July, John Mullins told the media, “The announcement by Minister Naughten is very welcome and now brings Ireland in line with most other European Union nations in terms of an official recognition of solar energy, which is the fastest growing renewable energy sector on the planet.  Amarenco has been calling for this support for some considerable time and we will now commence our preparatory work for the installation of solar farms to provide Ireland’s electricity grid with much needed clean electricity. We expect to have our first solar farm operational by the end of 2019. We ask the Government to carry out the first auction in early 2019 so as to commence delivery of these projects in 2019.”

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