MCRE Windfarm Limited have lodged a planning application for a major windfarm project on lands at Cahermurphy and the surrounding townlands near Kilmihil.
It would consist of up to ten wind turbines with a maximum overall blade tip height of up to 170 metres. It would have a 30-year operational life span from the date of commissioning.
A community engagement report accompanying the application says that it is looking to build on a successful earlier development. “MCRE has been involved in the successful development of the Cahermurphy 1 windfarm since 2013 and though the process of planning and developing of the Cahermurphy 1 project it has developed many relationships with the local families in this general area. The Genesis of the current project evolved though these relationships following the successful planning and development of the Cahermurphy 1 project when local farm families approached MCRE with a view to building on the success of the original project. Through the model of involvement of local farm families as shareholders, the original Cahermurphy project attracted no objections to its application for planning permission.
“Coillte, our project partner, also has a long history of working with communities and their experience around the country has generated an inherent understanding of the communities in which they operate. Like the 14 farm families that have committed lands to this application, Coillte also has a long standing presence in this area stretching back to the 1960’s.
“MCRE and Coillte aspire to work with the communities surrounding the site and wish to build projects that are commercially viable, good for our neighbours, and that contribute to the fulfilment of County Clare’s stated Renewable Energy Targets along with Local, national and global Climate Change objectives.
“In keeping with the success and relationships that we have enjoyed to date in this part of west Clare we have made a genuine effort to respect the views expressed to us in the planning and preparation of this application.”
It claimed that the development would be good for the area. “Cahermurphy Two Wind Farm has the potential to bring significant positive benefit to the local community. The project will create sustainable local employment, it will contribute annual rates to the local authority and it will provide opportunity for local community investment in the project in line with the new Renewable Energy Support Scheme. MCRE and our project partners Coillte will develop a community benefit fund which will be put in place for the lifetime of the project to provide direct funding to those areas surrounding the project.”
It said that there will be a significant amount of community funding, should the project go ahead. “If this project is constructed as currently designed we estimate that a total of approximately €5.6 million will be available in the local area for community funding over the lifetime of the project.”
The project would employ up to 40 people during the peak construction phase, with two or three long term jobs thereafter.