Cork County Council gives go-ahead for two new solar farms

Planning has been granted for two new solar farms in Cork, writes Pádraig Hoare of the Irish Examiner.

Cork County Council gives go-ahead for two new solar farms

Planning has been granted for two new solar farms in Cork, writes Pádraig Hoare of the Irish Examiner.

Cork County Council has given the green light to Amarenco Solar for 5MW solar farms in Béal na Bláth and Ballinvarrig.

It would take the company up to 10 plants with total capacity of 50MW with full planning approval in Cork and Waterford.

Amarenco claim the solar plants will be on lands that will "help farmers increase and diversify income by providing a stable source of revenue and ensuring the viability of agriculture for decades to come". Sheep will also be farmed on the all solar farm lands.

If no objections are made to state-planning authority An Bórd Pleanála, Amarenco will employ 40 during the construction of the two solar farms.

CEO of Amarenco and one of Cork's besk-known business figures, John Mullins said: "These application approvals by Cork County Council is very welcome news and is part of a significant number of applications being prepared by Amarenco Solar for Ireland. We are strongly committed to solar energy in Ireland."

He called for a bigger commitment from the Government towards solar energy.

"The Government needs to recognise the importance of solar and follow the lead of all other EU countries and publish solar PV tariffs sooner rather than later. To date, Ireland is the only country in the EU that does not have a policy towards solar, the fastest growing source of electricity in the world," Mr Mullins said.

He added the construction of the solar farms would "boost the Irish economy through the generation of employment, benefit the agricultural sector and create a significant new source of renewable energy".

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