Planning sought for windfarm on site of unopened €48m dump

Planning sought for windfarm on site of unopened €48m dump

Planning permission is to be sought shortly for a windfarm at the site of a mothballed superdump, which cost €48m to develop.

Coom Green Energy Park (CGEP) has confirmed that it expects to put a planning application in to Cork County Council in October for 22 turbines at the former municipal landfill site at Bottlehill, 23kms north of Cork city.

The council had been due to open the landfill in 2010, but mothballed it after a surplus of landfill nationally made it uneconomic to open it at the time.

In the meantime the council had been searching for green energy projects to take over some of the site.

CGEP had initially considered that the portion of land it wanted to take control of in Bottlehill would be able to accommodate 27 wind turbines. However, the company said it had scaled the number back by five.

CGEP, which is a joint venture company comprising of Brookfield Renewable Ireland and Coillte, has said should it get planning permission it is committed to a community benefit fund "to support long-term, sustainable local investment and projects which will aim to increase and improve the local economy and social infrastructure".

Planning sought for windfarm on site of unopened €48m dump

The community fund will prioritise projects and initiatives that support and benefit the local community in the immediate and local areas surrounding the proposed project.

The Bottlehill site is seen as an ideal location because it is elevated.

The company has estimated output from the windfarm will be enough to supply more than 70,000 homes with electricity. This will be the equivalent of displacing the emissions of more than approximately 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The road network in the area is very good because the county council upgraded it when it was planning to develop the superdump.

However, the company will have to bring in construction equipment and build new forest tracks.

During the construction phase, a Traffic Management Plan approved by Cork County Council will be implemented to ensure that local people are not inconvenienced.

Louis Duffy, head of the county council's environment directorate, has stated that he regards the CGEP project as a good move because it will provide green energy and not actually impose on the main landfill area, should it ever become economically viable to open it up.

“There is currently adequate landfill in the country, but when this diminishes, it [Bottlehill] is likely to become viable again,” he said.

In the meantime, the council wants to earn back money for the taxpayer by utilising parts of the site.


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