There was no slowdown in the pace of renewable energy project development over the Christmas break and into early January, as we continue to develop our new decentralised energy system. Over the past month, we saw the submission, decision-making and outcome from appeals for plans related to new solar farms, wind farms, battery storage systems and gas-powered plants. This article will highlight the major projects in your community from the past month that you may have missed.


4MW solar farm in Louth

Peter Dunne applied for planning for a 4MW solar farm on the Drumcar Road, Dunleer, Co Louth. The project also includes one ESB Networks substation building and underground cabling and ducting. The development will cover an area of round 33ac. A decision is due in February.

150ac solar farm for Cork

Harmony Solar Cork Ltd was granted permission, subject to conditions, to develop a 150ac solar farm and operate it for 40 years in Rahanisky, Killeendaniel, Monard, Co Cork. The solar farm consists of 330,200m² of solar PV panels on ground-mounted steel frames and a 38kV on-site substation.

108ac solar farm refused in Cork

Ballinvuskig Solar Farm Ltd was refused permission to modify a previously approved 108-acre solar farm project in Ballinvuskig, Douglas, Co Cork. The proposed modifications included the removal of the approved 38kV substation, exclusion of the permitted battery storage unit and container unit, and an expansion of access tracks, as well as alterations to the layout and dimensions of the panels. These changes would result in an increase in the ground-mounted solar panel footprint, expanding it from approximately 178,600 square meters to about 188,000 square meters. In its refusal letter, the Planning Authority wasn’t satisfied with the information provided in the planning application. It believes that the applicant has not sufficiently demonstrated that the development would not lead to significant adverse impacts on sensitive bird species during the breeding season and on the waterbird species listed for Cork Harbour SPA.

Successful appeal for Meath farm

Energia Solar Holdings Ltd won an appeal taken by Kieran Cummins of Eco Advocary, based in Meath, against Meath County Council’s decision to grant permission for a 510ac solar farm on lands including Culmullin, Woodtown, Arodstown and Summerhill, Co Meath. Among the arguments made by Cummins was that solar PV was an outrageous use of finite land.

Conditional planning for Meath Solar Farmers Ltd

Solar Farmers Ltd (Part of the Energia Group) secured conditional planning permission for a 102ac solar farm in Pilltown and Ballymad in Drogheda, Co Meath. The project also include 10 battery storage containers.

Incomplete applications

Roscommon-based PRT Solar Ltd’s application for 10-year permission to develop a 225ac solar farm in Grangeford Old and Friarstown, Co Carlow, was deemed invalid by the county council. The project also included a 38kV substation and a battery energy storage system unit comprising 22 modules. Permission currently exists for a PV development on 162ac of the site. The developer will have to resubmit the application with the missing documents. EEL Mullacash Solar Ltd plans for a 317ac solar farm in the townlands of Flemington South, Donde Big, Sillagh and Swordlestown South, Naas, Co Kildare, were also deemed incomplete by Kildare County Council and must be submitted again.

Flynn’s 7MW solar farm

Thomas Flynn’s application for a 23ac solar farm in Newdown, The Downs, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was approved subject to 13 conditions. The 7MW solar farm will comprise of approximately 20,000 PV panels on ground -mounted frames on the site, five single-storey inverter/transformer stations, security fencing, CCTV, access road from existing car park area and all associated ancillary development works. As per the conditions, he must pay €96,251.40 to the Planning Authority as a contribution before he can start building the solar farm.

607ac Kildare solar farm appeal

The decision to grant a 607ac solar farm in Kildare has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The project, being developed by Delamain Solar Farm Ltd, consists of solar PV panels with a surface area of 1,130,000m² on ground-mounted frames and would export 210MW of electricity each year. Part of the proposed development is situated within the demesne land of Harristown House, which contains Protected Structures, but no works are proposed for these Protected Structures. The project received close to 140 objections and submissions, and was appealed by the Harristown Community Group CLG and other members of the community.


Statkraft Ireland wins appeal

Global developer Statkraft won an appeal to An Bord Pleanála to develop eight, 185m high wind turbines, a substation and a meteorological mast up to 110m in height for an operational livespan of 30 years in the townlands of Dernacart, Forest Upper and Forest Lower, Co Laois. The original application was refused by the council in 2021, but this was overturned by An Bord Pleanála earlier this month. Representations and objections against the project were made by TD FF Seán Fleming is Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Charlie Flanagan is the Fine Gael spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Defence and Laois/Offaly and Cllr Paddy Bracken, as well as from members of Birdwatch Ireland and Eco Advocacy.

Lenalea wind turbine construction by SSE and FuturEnergy.


There are around 18 battery energy storage systems (BESS) currently connected to the grid, with many more in planning.

Cork BESS appealed

Ion Renewables Ltd proposed to build a BESS, which consisted of 154 20ft containers and 22 medium voltage transformers, as well as heating, ventilation and air condition units, in Belvelly Port Facility, Marino Point, Cobh, Co Cork. The application was refused by the council, as the site was identified as being susceptible to flooding and the development was not in relation to a specific port activity. This decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

6.5ac BESS planned for Meath

A 6.5ac development consisting of 35 battery units set inside storage blocks on concrete support structures, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning units was been submitted for planning in Silloge, Navan, Co Meath. Grid System Services Ltd is expecting a decision towards the end of February.

240MW battery for Galway

A decision on whether or not to grant permission for a 240MW battery energy storage system in Somerset, Co Galway, is due later this month. Regnum Renewables Developments Ltd is seeking to develop the 7.5ac site, which consists of 31 containerised battery storage modules on concrete plinths and a 38KV substation.


As part of Government plans, several new gas-fired electricity generation plants will have to be constructed to help bridge the gap in renewable energy generation. There are a number of projects either approved or in planning, such as Constant Energy Ltd’s project below.

Hydrogen plant in Bellacorick

Mayo County Council has granted planning permission for a 114MW gas-fired peaking power plant which will be capable of running on a mix of natural gas and hydrogen in Bellacorick, Co Mayo. The plant will produce electricity for export to the national grid and consists of two open cycle gas turbine generators, each consisting of an air intake filter system, exhaust stack (28m high), air vent stack, inter cooler system, turbine control room and transformers. The plant will be connected to the national gas grid. The application attracted a small number of objections. Constant Energy Ltd was granted permission subject to 32 conditions. As part of the conditions set by Mayo County Council, the developer must pay them a contribution of €1,140,000 before it can start work on the project. In addition, it must also pay Mayo County Council a “special” contribution of €35,000 and make three annual payments of €50,000 each to a new community gain fund.