Wind turbines measuring over 150 meters in height could be a feature on the Portlaoise skyline if a wind energy company secures the lands to erect them on.
Indeed, one group opposed to the turbines, People Over Wind (POW), say that plans for the turbines will see them “overhanging the town.”
The Laois Nationalist received a credible report this week about a wind energy company representative calling to farmers and landowners in the Broughlone, Pallace, Clonad, Cloonkeen and Ballyfin areas trying to sign up leases to allow access to lands to erect wind turbines.
A landowner and small farmer in the Broughlone area, who did not wished to be named, at this stage, said that she lives about a mile from the town’s Market Square. She said that a company rep called to her one day last week, identified himself and produced a company card.
She said that he produced a map and indicated that the company was interested in leasing lands from her to place a wind turbine about 800 metres from her back door. She said that he told her that the company was also looking to lease lands for the erection of seven more turbines back towards the Ballyfin area.
“He seemed to have done a very detailed search of lands in the area, which ones were registered and which ones weren’t. I asked him what height the company was proposing to erect the wind turbines. He told me they would be 95 metres to the hub and another 50 metres to the tip of the wings. He told me that he was interested in leasing the lands for 30 years and giving €18,000 a year for access. He also said that the company was prepared to give €4,000 a year to the local community for every turbine erected.”
The woman, who said that she did not accept any offers from the company, wanted to highlight the fact that wind energy companies are now interested in erecting wind turbines in the Portlaoise/Ballyfin areas.
POW spokesperson Henry Fingleton said: “The idea that the wind export projects have gone away is bogus. It looks like the wind energy companies have stepped up their operations.
“If these go ahead, they’ll be overhanging parts of the town. It also looks like they are looking to erect pylons at Cul na Mona along the Ballyfin Road. They’ve already sought leases in Stradbally, Kyle, Timahoe, Emo, Vicarstown, Portlaoise and Portarlington to name just a few locations. Laois will be ‘wind central’ if they get the go-ahead.
“It looks like Fine Gael TDs and councillors are supporting this drive to erect wind turbines across Laois. If these go ahead you can say goodbye to any plans for inward investments from companies looking to invest in Laois. The county will become a total backwash with no investment and be polluted with turbines.”
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