February 19, 2022

Wind farm will cost State another €4m in EU fines

BP Reporter | Business Plus | 18th February 2022 | businessplus.ie

The Government expects to pay out around €4m in fines to the European Commission over an ESB wind farm which has already cost the State €13m.

The Derrybrien Wind Farm in Galway, which is operated by a subsidiary of the ESB, has been the centre of a legal row after its construction in 2003 caused a massive peat slide, resulting in damage to property, land and wildlife.

The European Commission later found that the project had been built without an adequate environmental assessment.

A €15,000 daily fine was placed on the State after the judgement while infringement continues.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee yesterday, secretary-general at the Department of Housing, Graham Doyle, said the Government ‘will now seek to engage with the European Commission to close out the infringement case’.

Responding to questions from Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon, Mr Doyle said his department estimates that they will have to pay out an additional €4m to date.

“We would certainly argue that given An Bord Pleanála has now dealt with the case and issues its finding, our contention to the commission is that should bring closure to the case. We would expect to be levied with those fines,” he said.

Mr Doyle said electricity production at the wind farm is currently paused. When asked if the State could recoup some of the money paid out, Mr Doyle said his department had sought legal advice and did not think they would be able to.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2022/02/19/wind-farm-will-cost-state-another-e4m-in-eu-fines/