Despite a number of local authorities in Munster deferring solar-farm applications until the sector is more regularised, an unopposed application has been given the go-ahead by Co Waterford.
Waterford Council granted planning permission for a 5MW solar PV farm on an eight-hectare site at Kildangan, about 3km from Dungarvan, off the main N25 from Wexford to Cork.
Dublin-based Power Capital Renewable Energy Ltd plan had sought 10-year construction permission. There were no public objections.
The scheme comprises 20,000 photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted galvanised steel frames and associated works, including transformer stations, auxiliary transformer stations, investors, substations, communications, battery and client buildings, CCTV, access roads and fencing.
Permission was granted subject to 13 conditions, including a 30-year operation licence, after which it can cease operations or seek retention. The company must also contribute €50,000 to the council for public infrastructure and facilities.
The development must also provide for a 45m exclusion zone or, as otherwise agreed, from a nearby ringfort. A suitable, qualified, archaeologist to monitor all excavation and ground works and existing mature trees and hedgerows shall be retained and supplemented by a screening plan.
It is anticipated that the solar farm will link with an existing ESB 38 kV substation in the area through underground cabling.
In a report submitted by the company, it had concluded about 60m of surrounding roadway could be susceptible to glint and glare.
However, the report also suggested a proposed planting programme would effectively screen the solar panels from the road entirely.