Community unite against windfarm development

A community gathering, called to inform people about the proposed windfarm for West Waterford, saw a turnout that far exceeded the expectations of organisers, when it was held last week.

A community gathering, called to inform people about the proposed windfarm for West Waterford, saw a turnout that far exceeded the expectations of organisers, when it was held last week.

The community of Russelstown, Bawnfune, Ballybrien and Curraheenavoher, in the Ballymacarbry area, came together last Tuesday, July 5, to hear just what is proposed for the area, at a meeting organised by CCWFAG - the Comeragh Community Wind Farm Awareness Group.

CCWFAG have vowed to oppose the plan ‘all the way’ and the community meeting sees them step up local activity.

A €40 million windfarm of nine industrial wind turbines has been proposed in a planning application to Waterford County Council. The company behind the plan are Kilkenny-based Ecopower Developments Ltd, who already own and operate windfarms in Kilkenny, Mayo and Donegal.

At last Tuesday’s meeting CCWFA made an interesting presentation on the impact of the wind farm to the immediate residents as well as the wider community and indeed to the region at large.

The audience were very concerned to learn of the many likely impacts on their lives and the area.

Both sides of the argument were well debated during a lively open forum session but the overwhelming consensus was against the development.

Representatives of Ecopower Ltd were invited to the meeting but could not attend.

Anyone interested in making a submission to the proposed development is encouraged to do so by writing to the Planning Department of Waterford County Council, in Dungarvan, quoting planning ref 11/273 by July 27. A fee of €20 is required with each submission. For further information please contact CCWFAG on 051-347357, ccwfag@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/ccwfag.

Worried locals believe the proposed windfarm will destroy a beautiful landscape.

Ecopower Developments have proposed to construct a line of nine turbines across 15 hectares of elevated forest land in the townlands of Russelstown /New Russelstown /Sillaheens /Bawnfune /Boolabrien Upper /Curraheenavoher and Glenabbey, 3km north of Ballymacarbry and 5km south of Clonmel.

The windfarm substation will be built on site and the turbines will be connected to this substation by underground cables. The windfarm will be connected to the national grid at Spa Road ESB substation on the southern outskirts of Clonmel town.

The company say the electricity generated from the windfarm will supply 10,000 houses each year, without emitting harmful greenhouse gases.

In a statement Ecopower Developments said: “The proposed windfarm is suitable for this area because it is proposed for an area of forestry rising from farming landscape and it will be screened from the more scenic area to the east by mountains.”