On January 30th, 2024, Plan Energy Consulting Ltd issued letters to approximately 280 of the closest neighbours to the proposed solar farm inviting them to submit feedback within three weeks. Plan Energy Consulting Ltd have set up this webpage to provide further information about the proposed solar farm and for you to provide your considered feedback to get in touch.
Plan Energy Developments Ltd, through their agent Plan Energy Consulting Ltd, intends to apply to Clare County Council for planning permission for development of a Solar Photovoltaic Farm at the 34.42-hectare site located within the townlands of Ballycannan St Patricks Civil Parish, Ballycannan West St Munchins Civil Parish and Meelick, Killeely Civil Parish and Huntsfield all in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare. The southern boundary of the site is approximately 5km north of Limerick City; the site is approximately 4.1km west of the electricity generating station at Ardnacrusha. The solar farm will contribute to meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets of up to 80% of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030. This will assist in reducing Ireland’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and create energy resilience.
The site is screened from public view by trees and hedgerows, and Plan Energy Developments Ltd will plant more hedges and trees to provide additional buffering.
The purpose of this webpage is to provide the community with information. The project is likely to compete in a Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction to sell the generated electricity to the national grid. A key benefit of the RESS auction is the Community Benefit Fund. A portion of the funds will be allocated to local communities for the duration of the RESS contract. This fund can benefit the wider economic, environmental, social, and cultural wellbeing of the local community. The fund size is dependent upon the size of the solar farm and the amount of energy produced.
Plan Energy is a renewable energy development company working in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Plan Energy Developments expertise include Utility Wind and Solar, SME, Agriculture, Community, and public sector clients on the identification and delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Plan Energy Consulting has been developing Wind, Solar and Bioenergy projects for over 20 years and has a proven track record, successfully delivering projects of all scales from single sites to international portfolios. Plan Energy engages in these projects from concept through to commissioning, ensuring that a high level of diligence is undertaken in every aspect of the development process. Plan Energy has delivered site evaluation, landowner negotiation, land control and technical feasibility studies for more than 2000MW of renewable energy developments since 1999 including for Scottish Power Renewables, Brookfield Renewables, SSE Airtricity, Coillte as well as a range of independent solar and wind energy developers.
The proposed development will include a Solar Power Photovoltaic Farm and 38kV Substation on a 34.42Heactares (ha) site consisting of 14.3ha of solar photovoltaic panel arrays, mounted on steel- supported structures, with associated cabling and ducting, together with 10 central inverters and hard standings and includes a 7.1Hectare Biodiversity zone. Existing hedgerows and trees will be maintained and enhanced. The layout includes an underground cable in the public roadway for the purpose of grid connection via the local offsite substation at Ardnacrusha, together with a site compound which houses the transformer stations, cooling fans, and material storage area.
The compound will be bounded by palisade perimeter fencing and gates with appropriate screening. The site will have permanent permeable gravel access tracks, temporary TuffTrak roads where necessary, pole- mounted CCTV and a temporary wheel wash station.
Access to the site is via the Right of Way/Easement at Ballycannan Heights Road, with internal access around the site via (planned upgrade of) existing internal agricultural roadways linking the Parcels of land together. Plan Energy Developments Ltd plan to upgrade existing roads and build new temporary internal access roads, as well as semi-permanent roads connecting the east and west sections of the land.
The planning application for the solar farm development will be submitted to Clare County Council under Section 34 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). A 10-year permission will be sought. It is intended that the application will be lodged in February 2024.
In our site assessment, Plan Energy have identified a specific area rich in native biodiversity, featuring indigenous trees, hedgerows, plants, and natural waterways. Recognizing its ecological value, Plan Energy Developments Ltd have decided to protect and maintain this area as is. This approach ensures the continued flourishing of local wildlife and plant species, contributing to the overall health of our environment. For a closer look at this vibrant ecosystem, please see the photos provided below.
A Planning and Environmental Considerations Report will be prepared and submitted with the application. This will consider:
- Environmental Management
- Archaeology & Cultural heritage
- Hydrology, Land & Soils
- Glint & Glare
- Noise & Vibration
- Landscape & Visual
- Traffic & Transport
An Outline Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will also be submitted as part of our planning application.
All queries and comments in relation to the project can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org