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Windy City: Drakestown set for five new turbines

Five new wind turbines could soon be dominating the skyline at Drakestown in Ardee after renewable energy company Gaelectric announced their plans for a new wind farm at Corracon.

The company currently has six operational wind farms in the Republic of Ireland with a further three currently at the construction phase. The proposed development Drakestown – as well as another proposed build at Crowinstown in Co. Westmeath – would take that number to 11.

Gaelectric have yet to submit a planning application for the five 85m high turbines but an application is expected to go to Louth County Council in the next few weeks. The company held an information evening for locals in the Hunterstown Inn on Monday evening this week and outlined their plans for the wind turbines.

A wind monitoring mast has been in place since 2014 and environmental impact studies are underway ahead of filing their planning permission application.

Gaelectric say that the wind turbines, at 85m high and with a rotary dimension of 82m, will generate enough energy to power 810 annually.

Writing in their project literature, they said, “We believe in being long term positive contributors to the communities in which we operate in. We are very open to the idea of exploring community ownership models for proposed Corracon Wind Farm.

“If we receive planning consent our aim is to open up the project for local investment after thorough engagement and consultation with interested investors has concluded.”

It is proposed that the local authority would approve of planning permission for the build in the first quarter of 2017 before construction could get underway in the spring of 2018. If that timetable is adhered to, it is expected that construction would finish early in 2019.

The devlopment would see the installation of an underground cable to connect the project to the ESB substation at Ballybailie.

There are already five wind turbines close by, at Mount Oriel, and this new development is earmarked for the Corracon site at Drakestown which is further down the steep hill at Anaglog.

Gaelectric say should the project go ahead, a community fund will be set up with an annual contribution of €11,000 – money to be spent directly on assisting local projects.

“The Government has outlined an increased focus on energy generated from renewable sources (most notably on-shore wind energy) to reduce Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuels and its exposure to fossil price increases and volatility in the medium to long term as well as the need to ensure long term security of supply.

“The proposed Corracon Wind Farm will make a significant and positive contribution towards these targets as well as contributing substantially to the local area through expenditure on construction, job creation, rates and the Community Benefit Fund,” the company said.

You can download and read the proposal in full here