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Senator calls on wind farm developers to ‘come clean’

Timahoe-based senator John Whelan has called on the wind farm developers to “come clean” on their proposals.

He said there is “too much secrecy and behind-closed-doors negotiations on contracts and land deals which is detrimental to the ***bona fides*** of the sector and the interests of the broader community and society.”

He described the plans the companies have for their wind farm developments as ‘‘unsound, unsafe, unreliable and unsustainable.”

He also slammed the company’s claims on employment potential and economic windfall as “grossly exaggerated and unhelpful” and asked those proposing the current wind energy plans to “step back from the hype and adopt a more responsible and respectful approach.”

Senator Whelan said: “I am in favour of wind energy and it does offer great opportunities, but only if it is progressed in a sensible, transparent and secure way.
‘‘Concerns surrounding setback and proximity from existing homes; their impact on health and property values; the scale of wind farms, and the manner and means in which they will be connected to the grid must all be on the table upfront and not dismissed or dealt with as an afterthought. The hundreds of wind farms being proposed in clusters of between 25 and 30 giant 185-metre turbines are not just an issue for landowners looking to cash in on a windfall, but a matter for the entire community and society on which they will impact and affect.”

He also said that there were other issues such as the environmental and ecological impacts that have to be addressed for “such a spate of wind farms being proposed for the midlands and the impact these turbines, pylons and power lines will have on the landscape and visual amenity.’’

The senator called on the companies “to engage in meaningful local consultation rather than sound bites, signing up secretive contracts and promises of the sun, moon, stars and swimming pools for every parish and village in the midlands.”