Two community meetings will take place in Kilkenny within the next seven days to discuss the potential impact of up to 10 planned wind turbines only kilometres northeast of Kilkenny City.
EDF Renewables Ireland are spearheading the wind farm development in the Freneystown-Castlewarren area and are hoping to submit a planning application later this year.
Locals opposed to the wind farm have been actively mobilising in recent years under the banner of the ‘Save Our Hills’ group.
Save Our Hills contends that the project will be hugely invasive to the area and have criticised the proposed scale and location of the turbines.
The community group is also concerned that due to the scale of the wind farm, the energy company will be able to bypass the local authority during the planning process.
“If this project goes ahead it will cause a rift in the local community not seen since the Civil War,” a group spokesperson said.
EDF Renewables Ireland has previously made moves to assure the local community, stating that they are committed to keeping local people informed about its projects.
“Projects such as Freneystown Wind Farm have a crucial role to play in decarbonising our energy supply and helping Ireland meet its target of delivering 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” said Jenny Howard, Head of Development at EDF Renewables Ireland.
“If the project receives planning permission and is constructed, the project’s Community Benefit Fund will also support positive initiatives in the area.
“EDF Renewables is committed to working closely with the local community – we carried out our first round of public consultation with local residents in October following the project’s launch, and we will be holding further events as the project progresses.”
The company also said that environmental studies are being carried out, including ecology, noise, landscape and visual assessments.
The first community meeting is on January 12 in Johnswell Hall and another will take place next Wednesday (January 18) in Castlewarren Hall, both at 8pm.
EDF Renewables Ireland stated that they are not aware of receiving invitations to these community events.
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