Contributing to the local community
The main aim of developing any renewable energy project is to increase the sustainability of our country and its people. It is therefore important to ensure that any wind energy development being considered would improve the sustainability of the local area and bring with it environmental, economic and social benefits for the communities in the surrounding areas.
Our ultimate aim is to create a development that the people in the local area will be proud of and one which will enhance the lives of those in the area. We have spoken to people in the area and have included the feedback from these discussions in our design process. This has allowed the local community to influence not only the form of the proposed wind farm but also the form of the associated community benefits package.
What Will This Bring to the Area?
Renewable energy projects have the potential to bring great benefits to the areas in which they are located and the new Renewable Energy Support Scheme has firmly bolstered this opportunity.
Under the new Renewable Energy Support Scheme, this project would attract:
• A fund of approximately €160,000/year will be available for the local area.
• A community investment opportunity for anyone within 10km of the project
• Priority for those within 5km
We are firmly of the belief that it is the local people who understand the needs and requirements of the area best. We would like local people to steer how the very significant funding that would be associated with this project would be used. As such we have asked people how the local area could benefit from this proposal.
Aspirations expressed by people in the local area include:
• Upgrade & support of local services. The development and upgrade of services at both the Breesy Centre and the Rockfield Community Hall.
• A local walkway. The provision of a viewing point, picnic tables and a shelter along a new local hill walking route.
• Support green projects. The development of renewable energy technologies at the local community centre for the provision of heating, water and electricity.
• A Renewable Energy Education Hub. The development of a local renewable energy education hub, which would promote tours of the wind energy and hydroelectricity projects in the area.
• Local Hedge Cutting. A maintenance program for local roadside hedge cutting on local public roads.
• Local walking routes. The development of a cross border walking trail in the area.
• Local fishing. The development of angling facilities in the area including the reopening of access to fishery areas.
• Shooting facilities. The development of clay pigeon shooting facilities in the local area.
• Business Start-ups. The development of a fund to assist business start-ups and people who would like to start their own business in the local area.
The Potential for a Local Renewable Energy Education Hub
We believe that there is the opportunity to develop a Renewable Energy Education Hub in this area.
In a local context, this area has not only a permitted wind energy development, but also two hydroelectricity plants in the local area. We would like to work with the local community to establish how this concept might be progressed.
The fundamentals of this idea are already in place. Not alone is there Green Electricity generation in the local area but the Breesy Centre is heated using the low carbon Air to Water Heat Pump technology. Earlier this year the Cool Planet Experience was launched in Powerscourt House in Enniskerry and it is Irelands first Climate Change Educational Centre. Cashelard and the surrounding area is ideally positioned to provide a unique insight into green electricity generation and low carbon usage. We would be delighted to work with you to develop this concept and should it progress, the Derrykillew Wind Farm Extension could assist and facilitate such a community project via the community benefit fund.
County Council Rates:
Rates for the Local Authority of approx. €320,000 per year. Many counties are considering raising the Local Property Tax rates paid by renewable energy projects would reduce the pressure on local authorities to do so.
Utilising the Community Benefit Fund
We would like to see schemes developed which would bring benefits to the local area in terms of community facilities and environmental sustainability.
Ireland is moving towards tackling climate change and becoming a low carbon economy and it is clear that the way in which we use energy is going to change over the coming years. We have recently seen the UK and France commit to future bans on Petrol and Diesel cars while Denmark has already banned the installation of any new oil fired central heating systems. We would like to work with communities around wind farm developments to identify opportunities for individuals and groups to become more environmentally and economically sustainable.
An example of how this might be achieved is that, should this project be permitted, the community fund could consider facilitating the installation of electric car charging points in the local area.
Local Business Support Strategy
As a part of our commitment to maximise the economic gain for the surrounding area, we are developing a Local Business Database. The purpose of this is to ensure that opportunities for local businesses to secure contracts are captured. Local suppliers, contractors and businesses will be informed of opportunities and facilitated in applications ensuring that they are considered for any appropriate opportunities. These include:
- Road building: machine drivers, quarries, lorry drivers and ground workers
- Grounds maintenance, fencing materials & fencing contractors
- Engineering, steel fixing, surveying, formwork and shuttering
- Electrical supplies and electrical contracting
- Fuel supply, traffic and transport engineering supplies
- Plant and machinery repair and hire, tyres and servicing
- Supply of materials and goods
- Provision of lodging and travel
This is your chance to have your say!