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EDF Renewables Ireland has announced plans to develop a 100 mega-watt wind farm to the south of Bellacorrick in north Mayo.
The proposed project, which could consist of up to 25 turbines and power more than 60,000* homes, will be located in a forested area to the northeast of Slieve Carr, approximately 8km southeast of Bangor Erris.
The project team is currently gathering wind data and mapping the environmental constraints on site which will be used to create a preliminary wind turbine layout.
Detailed environmental studies will also be carried out at the site, including ecology, noise, landscape and visual assessments.
The results of these studies, together with feedback gathered in consultation with local communities, will be used to determine the final wind farm layout and number of turbines.
EDF Renewables Ireland intends to submit a planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in support of the project to An Bord Pleanála in early 2022.
Subject to planning permission, the wind farm is expected to be operational in 2028.
A Community Benefit Fund commensurate with the size of the final project will be established to provide funding for local community initiatives and activities.
EDF Renewables Ireland is committed to keeping local people informed about its projects and a number of public consultation events will take place as the Kilsallagh Wind Farm progresses.
These will be either online or in a local venue, depending on Covid-19 restrictions.
Commenting on the announcement, Kevin Daly, Head of Development at EDF Renewables Ireland, said: “Kilsallagh Wind Farm will make a positive contribution to Ireland’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis. We look forward to working closely with residents and the community in Mayo and the county council to keep them updated on progress and the benefits this project will bring to the local area.”
However with Ireland’s renewable energy capacity set to increase rapidly in the coming years, he also highlighted a key challenge in meeting Ireland’s goal of increasing the share of electricity generated by renewables to 70% by 2030:
“The west of Ireland is home to some of the best wind conditions in the country – but the absence of sufficient transmission infrastructure is a big challenge when it comes to harnessing this potential.
“More will need to be done to ensure Ireland’s grid system can accommodate the low-carbon energy that is needed to fight climate change and power our lives.”
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