LocaL residents have raised concerns over a plan to erect a wind turbine beside Procter & Gamble’s factory in Nenagh.
Management at the Gortlandroe based pharmaceutical facility intends to lodge a planning application for a 2.3 MW wind turbine on private land adjoining the factory site. The turbine will have a hub height of 85m, standing 130m at maximum span height. The company intends to lease the land and build an access road in order to develop the turbine, with another road included for maintenance purposes.
P&G detailed the proposal at a series of information sessions for local residents, businesspeople and councillors at the factory last week.
The Nenagh plant’s management wants to install a wind turbine to help reduce its current energy costs of around €750,000 per year. The turbine would provide just under half of the factory’s yearly energy needs.
The proposal is also in keeping with the factory’s efforts to minimise its carbon footprint, recycle as much waste as possible and seek to use renewable energy resources. The installation of the turbine would reduce more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide at the site, the equivalent of taking 3,000 cars off the road.
P&G employs around 275 technicians and managers in Nenagh and is a major contributor to the local economy in terms of wages and community support projects.
In 2018 the factory will observe the 40th anniversary of its establishment in Nenagh, and its management has set out a number of key targets to reach by that year.
In coming up with the wind turbine proposal, which it says will help secure new business and maintain the factory’s presence in Nenagh, management examined a range of alternative options and put together a feasibility study. This demonstrated how the turbine would not create obtrusive noise, despite its proximity to several residential areas. The nearest house to the proposal is 447m away.
Local residents have however raised concerns relating to visual impact, and say the presence of a wind turbine would significantly devalue their homes. Concerns have also been expressed over ‘shadow flickering’, which would affect seven houses in Richmond for a short period of the day between May and July.
At one of last week’s information sessions, residents said they wanted to see further montages illustrating the proposed location of the turbine in relation to their homes. Residents also sought more time to consider the proposal, noting that a planning application is to be submitted in August. Management at P&G said it would endeavour to meet these requests and committed to hold further meetings with residents in the coming weeks.
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