UK-based Elgin Energy secured permission for the 4.2MW project, which it says will represent a €5m investment and power the equivalent of 1,000 homes. The company already has another 10 solar farms approved in the Republic and eight more at the planning stage, with more in operation in Northern Ireland and Britain.

Land ownership

Planning documents show that the development will take place on 17.7ha of agricultural land owned by Quattour, a company linked to Elgin. The site will retain farming activity through sheep grazing between the solar panels.

Offaly County Council granted permission subject to 13 conditions, including environmental improvements, payment of a €50,000 contribution to the council and lodgement of a €72,000 security to be refunded after the solar farm is dismantled at the end of its estimated 30-year life.

The project includes an ESB sub-station and a 1.6km connection to the national grid through cabling along public roads.

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