Liffey Meats has submitted a planning application to Cavan County Council to develop a solar farm covering approximately 14.5ac (5.9ha) at its beef processing site located outside Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan.

The planning application was received by Cavan County Council on September 2, and a decision is expected to be made on the planning application at the end of October.

The planning application was made by Liffey Energy Ltd. and the proposed development would be located in the townland of Cloggagh, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan.

If approved, the development will consist of a 10-year planning permission for:

  • A solar-energy development that would comprise photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on mounting frames;
  • Inverters and transformers;
  • Underground electrical and communications cabling;
  • Access tracks;
  • Security fencing;
  • Pole-mounted security cameras;
  • All associated and ancillary site development, landscaping and reinstatement works.

The operational lifetime of the proposed development is 35 years and the development is for the purposes of an activity requiring an Integrated Pollution Control licence.

The electricity that would be generated by the solar panels would be direct current (DC) but in order to supply the Liffey Meats processing plant, the electricity must be converted to alternating current (AC). This process would be carried out using the inverters.

The renewable energy consultant firm Galetech Energy Services based in Stradone, Co. Cavan has been appointed as the agents by Liffey Energy Ltd.

If approved, the projected construction phase of the project is expected to be three months.

A 34-page planning and environmental report on the proposed project has assessed the likelihood of effects on the environment arising from the proposed development.

Special consideration was given to effects on biodiversity, water and landscape and the report concluded that the proposed development would not result in any significant effects on the environment, with residual effects ranging from slight to imperceptible.

Liffey Meats currently has a wind turbine supplying energy to the factory and if the proposed development is approved, the company expects that it would further reduce the beef processors’ carbon footprint.