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Bord na Móna proposes wind farm for Lemanaghan Bog in West Offaly  

Credit:  Dierdre Verney | Offaly Independents | March 12, 2021 | www.offalyindependent.ie ~~

Bord na Móna has confirmed its intention to develop a wind farm at Lemanaghan Bog which it said could support 80 to 100 jobs during peak construction.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the semi-state company said it is unable to have a public event or meet in person to discuss details of the project with the local community, and instead, has developed a Virtual Public Consultation Experience on the www.lemanaghanwindfarm.ie/ project website to inform the public and look for feedback.

The exact scale and location of the turbines planned is unclear at this stage, and will not be revealed until the next round of consultation in the autumn of this year.

“As the project is at an early stage the number and location of turbines has not yet been determined,” Bord na Móna said in the project information booklet on the website where a map of a large study area where the turbines could be located is available.

The proposed project, to be known as Lemanaghan Wind Farm, comes closest to Ferbane but is also not far from Pullough and Ballycumber. While the exact acreage of bog being examined for the development is not specified, the supplied map shows that it spans a very wide area encompassing the Lemanaghan Bord na Móna Works, railway and over towards Dernagun with a large expanse coming very close to the Ferbane to Ballycumber Road.

It also stretches in other directions to the edge of the N62 around halfway between Ferbane and Doon, and a stretch of road linking Doon to Ballycumber. The bog being examined also comes close to another stretch of road linking Rashina to Cappanlosset crosswords, while closer to Ballycumber, it comes near Castlearmstrong and Corrabeg. Some of the large areas of bog being investigated for the wind farm development would be relatively remote, while other parts would include residences.

“Over the coming months, in order to determine the extent of the proposed development Bord na Móna will undertake a number of on-site surveys on Lemanaghan Bog, such as ecology surveys, ornithology surveys, aquatic surveys, heritage surveys and site investigation works.

“Additionally the company will also commence a series of off-site surveys, such as noise monitoring at sensitive receptors around the site and topographical surveys of the proposed grid connection and proposed haul routes,” it said.

Should it progress, the electricity generated by the turbines would be transmitted directly onto the national grid which is managed by EirGrid for distribution around the country.

The proposed development would make a significant contribution to Irelands Climate Action Plan 2019, which has a set a target of 8.2GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030, Bord na Móna contended in the booklet to promote the project.

It also stated the renewable energy project is in line with “ongoing company strategy” and recognition that “cutaway peatlands have significant potential for the development of wind energy”.

Bord na Móna has moved into wind energy in a big way in recent years all over the country as it moves away from peat-based activities altogether. Indeed, 14 other wind projects are listed as either in the planning or operational phase in the consultation material, the most notable of which locally would be Mount Lucas, close to Daingean, which has been up and running since 2014 and consists of a total of 28 150-metre high turbines.

A 10km walking/cycling amenity was developed as part of that project and Bord na Móna revealed that “it is hoped to incorporate similar amenities as part of the proposed Lemanaghan Wind Farm”.

Other benefits of the project put forward by the developers included a Community Benefit Fund, the upgrade of road infrastructure in the vicinity as required, substantial rates paid to the local authority and the support of a number of “long-term, high quality technical jobs in operations and maintenance”.

Although still at the early pre-planning stage, Bord na Móna is looking for feedback from the public whether it is queries or concerns about the development or information about the local area that may be of interest.

“To have your say, please complete the online survey via the dedicated project website,” the semi-state company stated in the information booklet for the project by April 16.

“The views submitted by you on our proposals, along with results from further studies, will help us to identify the best plan to take forward into the planning process. All feedback in relation to the proposed development will be reviewed and considered by the project team,” it added.

If you are unable to use the online survey you can send your completed survey form or other views, observations, or comments by post to Lemanaghan Wind Farm, Bord na Móna, Main Street, Newbridge, Co. Kildare or by email to: Lemanaghanwindfarm@bnm.ie

If you don’t have access to the internet, a postal copy of the public consultation material can be requested by contacting the project’s Community Liaison Officer – Colm Dempsey (weekdays 9am-5pm) on 087 4143305.

Source:  Dierdre Verney | Offaly Independents | March 12, 2021 | www.offalyindependent.ie

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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