Waterford Council has granted planning permission for a combined 30mw solar farm in the Comeragh region of the county.
Dublin-based BNRG Renewables, operating as BNRGN Mothel Ltd, plans to construct the farm on 35- and 12-acre sites in the townlands of Curraghduff and Mothel respectively.
The company proposes to export the generated electricity to the national grid via a new 110kv substation close to an existing overhead powerline that bisects the two sites.
An application for this structure has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála with a decision expected in September.
Planning for the solar panels was granted subject to 22 conditions.
These include a 25-year operation period, the omission of some panels at the Curraghduff site that are located adjacent to a dwelling, and an instruction that transformers, inverters, and fencing be of a dark colour.
The conditions also forbid artificial lighting without prior permission and the installation of CCTV.
BNRGN Mothel claims the development will “provide enough power for approximately 7,200 homes” and “eliminate 12,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifespan”.
The permission comes despite 56 submissions from residents opposed to the development.
Objectors say they do not oppose renewable energy but would favour community rather than corporate ownership.
Concerns were raised in regard to the proximity of electromagnetic waves, water run-off from panels, glint and glare, the effect on wildlife, and construction traffic upheaval.