A renewable energy firm refused planning for a solar farm close to Waterford Airport has appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála.
Proposals by Cork-based Temporis Ltd to construct 26,000 sq m of solar panels and associated works at Keiloge were turned down on the basis they “posed a hazard to aircraft operations” and “prejudice future expansion of Waterford Airport.”
The regional airport, in a submission to Waterford Council, had also claimed that “glint and glare” from the panels could endanger flights, as the runway ended 700m from the proposed development site.
The airport also submitted that the proposed development was within a defined public safety zone and that it would compromise potential development of the airport as envisaged under the County Development Plan.
However, Barry Walsh, a spokesman for Temporis Ltd, said the company “would not be proceeding with this application if there was even a hint of risk to either planes or the locality”.
He dismissed claims of a risk of “glint and glare”, emphasising that solar panels are, by nature, designed to absorb light rather than reflect it. He said that two “independently verifiable reports done to the highest FAA standard prove that there is no risk”.
He said similar solar farms exist “near countless airports across the world and there has never been a recorded incident from “glint and glare”. It is worth noting also that there were no local resident objections to the application,” he said.
A decision from An Bord Pleanala is due in September. Council planners, in rejecting the application, indicated they felt the application did not adequately reassure “glint and glare” would not impact negatively on future alterations to the runway or the airport’s possible expansion.
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