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Coillte hold windfarm day

Advanced plans for an 18 turbine windfarm in Cullenagh south of Portlaoise are to be revealed at open days in Timahoe and Ballyroan.

Coillte who manage state forests at Cullenagh, Clontycoe and Dooary are planning to build the turbines at a height of 131 metres, for supply of electricity to the Irish grid.

They will submit their planning application to Laois County Council mid summer.

People Against Wind, the Laois action group, say they will be lodging an objection.

“We are totally opposed, it is completely out of character, both in scale and enormity, and there was little or no consultation with locals.

There are people living on the Stoney Road near Ballyroan who only found out last week that they will have turbines in front of them and behind them,” says chairperson of POW Henry Fingleton.

Coillte, who manage the state’s forests, held initial information days in 2011, and say they incorporated some of those suggestions into their plans. Results of environment assessments and studies will be explained and questions will be answered Coillte says.

“I would encourage members of the public to attend these information days, to view these plans and to ask any questions that they may have about the proposal.”says Jude Byrne, Director of Wind Energy.

The Information Days will take place on Wednesday June 12 from 2pm until 7.30pm at Timahoe Community Centre, and on Thursday June 13 from 2pm until 7.30pm at Ballyroan Community Centre.

He says the project is in response to the government target of delivering 40 per cent of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“Cullenagh Wind Farm has an important role to play as it will connect directly to the Irish grid, supplying clean renewable indigenous energy,” said Mr Byrne.

There are 179 windfarms in Ireland, with more to come.