€160m wind farm to be built in Mayo
The ESB and Bord na Móna will build 29 turbines at the Oweninny Wind Farm Project in Mayo after securing funding. Una Sinnott reports.

Once a peat bog, now a future 86MW wind farm; the ESB and Bord na Móna site, located between Crossmolina and Bangor Erris will see 29 turbines built after receiving funding from four banks.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), MUFG Bank, BNP Paribas and AIB will finance the wind farm with long-term debt. The European Investment Bank’s €80m contribution to the new Oweninny Wind Farm (50% of total funding) represents the bank’s largest ever investment in renewable energy generation in Ireland and the largest financing in the country to date under the Investment Plan for Europe.

EIB vice president Andrew McDowell, stated that this was a “landmark investment” that will “contribute to Ireland’s climate action targets, power over 50,000 homes and create around 100 local jobs during construction.”

Oweninny Wind Farm will add to ESB’s existing portfolio of 16 wind farms.

ESB and Bord na Móna have established a Community Benefit Scheme for the funding of local community projects and initiatives over the lifetime of the wind farm.

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DeLaval launches new rotary parlour
DeLaval has said its latest rotary milking parlour will focus on labour efficiency at a time when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.

DeLaval has launched a new rotary parlour in Ireland and the UK. The E100 rotary is focused around animal welfare, milk quality, farm profitability and work efficiency, according to DeLaval.

Gary Edwards, CMS Solutions manager, stated: “The DeLaval E100 rotary has been designed around the customer’s and the animal’s needs. It has been designed as a complete milking system focussing on cow flow, cow comfort, efficiency and comfort for the milker.

“Combined with DelPro™ herd management software, it really offers the farmer complete control of his herd, making it easier for him to make management decisions. When working in conjunction with the unique DeLaval teat spray robot, it is incredibly labour efficient when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.”

The parlour, DeLaval says, encourages calm cow flow by utilising a low-profile bail. Rapid entry and exit from the parlour is also prioritised in order to improve throughput. The parlour can be operated by one person, something DeLaval says can improve work efficiency.

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Cows loose on Meath road
Motorists travelling on the R154 near Kiltale, Co Meath, are advised there are reports of cows loose on the road.

The AA roadwatch has received reports of cows loose along a regional road in Co Meath. The incident has been reported near Kiltale on the Trim/Batterstown road (R154).

The reports were recieved at 8.30am and gardaí are en-route to deal with the situation.

Widespread drop in points for agricultural courses
A number of agricultural science courses across the country have seen a reduction in the 2018 entry points requirement, as students opt for engineering courses.

Agricultural courses have seen a widespread drop in points, as many students opt for construction-orientated courses. Over 50,000 students will receive first-round higher-education offers today after getting their Leaving Cert results last week.

Agricultural courses at UCD, Dundalk IT and IT Tralee all experienced drops. General entry to agricultural science at UCD dropped by just four points to 451 but agri-environmental science fell by 20 points. Dairy business went in the opposite direction moving up to 30 points to 432. IT Tralee courses had some of the largest drops, with its Level 8 agricultural science course falling by 16 points and its Level 7 equivalent falling by 33 points.

Waterford IT was one of the few colleges to buck the trend, with both Level 8 and Level 7 agriculture courses jumping by 14 points and 18 points respectively. Agricultural engineering at Galway-Mayo IT saw a significant increase of 25 points.

Engineering

The increase in interest in engineering courses was reflected across the board. For general engineering courses at UCD, Trinity and NUI Galway points are up from anywhere between 10 and 30. It is likely this has been driven by the rising demand from industry for people with those skills.

Construction management at Dublin IT increased by 20 points to 346, while project and construction management at NUI Galway jumped a massive 32 points to reach 402.

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