Three Solar Farms Granted Planning Permission

McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan Ltd. (MKO) has recently secured planning permission for three separate solar farm developments from An Bord Pleanála on behalf of Terra Solar Ltd. for sites located in Co. Kerry and Co. Clare.

In each instance, the applications sought to secure a 10-year planning permission for the construction of a circa 5MW solar energy development. Each scheme has the potential to power circa 1,200 households with renewable energy and save approximately 1,800 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

MKO provided strategic planning advice to the client and multi-disciplinary project team and led all aspects of the planning application process. This included the preparation of Planning and Environmental Reports, project management and peer-review of expert inputs on Flood Risk Assessment, Archaeology, Traffic and Transport (including Preliminary Construction Traffic Management Plan), Glint and Glare, Landscape and Visual Impact and Environmental Impact Assessment Screening. MKO’s in-house ecology team completed an Appropriate Assessment Screening and ecological impact assessment of the proposed developments.

Each of the Planning Authority decisions were subject to appeal proceedings (prepared by MKO) in relation to specific conditions that had been attached, as well as Third Party appeals. MKO provided comprehensive responses to all first and third-party appeals. In all instances, An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the proposed schemes.

Several technological advancements have taken place in recent years which make Solar PV developments a viable, realistic and sustainable renewable energy source suitable to the Irish climate. Recently, solar power has broken new records in the UK by providing nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity needs. The installed solar PV infrastructure in the UK generated 8.7GW of renewable energy, smashing a previous record high of 8.48GW. Given the ongoing pressure to move away from fossil fuel based energy production towards renewable and sustainable energy production in Ireland, it is considered that installed Solar PV capacity will continue to rise.

For further information on the planning consultancy services that MKO can provide for solar farm projects, contact our office on 091 735 611.

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