BY BRIAN MOORE
and KIERAN O’MAHONY
WEST Cork is to get two new solar farms, following the granting of planning permission by Cork County Council.
Amarenco, an independent Irish power company, plans to build two 20-acre solar farms, one in Kilmoney outside Carrigaline and another one in Timoleague.
Both of these sites have received planning permission and construction is scheduled to begin early in 2018.
The farms will each produce 5MW of power and are part of a 40-farm national network from Amarenco.
Throughout Munster, Amarenco has received planning permission for over 20 solar farms, most of which will be in North and East Cork, as well as West Waterford.
A spokesperson for Amarenco told The Southern Star that the sites in West Cork would be a positive addition to the national power grid.
‘Each of the solar farm sites will create 40 jobs during the construction phase and there will be a number of full-time operations jobs once the sites are up and running.’
Amarenco is investing over €7m in each of its solar farms. However, Amarenco CEO John Mullins is seeking a more pro-active approach from the Government.
‘Cork County Council clearly sees the benefits of solar energy as a source of clean energy, free from emissions and it should be acknowledged for its vision. The government should now follow the lead being set by Cork County Council,’ he said.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Jagoes Mills Action Group (JMAG), who appealed a decision by Cork County Council to grant planning permission for a solar panel farm in Farrangalway, outside Kinsale, said they are disappointed that An Bord Pleanála has deferred its decision on the case.
‘We’re obviously disappointed that the decision has been deferred but it’s neither a negative nor a positive result so far,’ Tom Coyne, spokesperson for JMAG said. ‘They have told us that the delay is due to a backlog.’
An Bord Pleanála confirmed that no decision has been made on the solar panel farm application, despite it being due by March 20th.