New 5MW solar farm gets the green light in Cork

Cork County Council has granted planning approval for a new 5MW solar farm on a 25ac site in Ballineen, west Cork.

The permission for the Ballineen site was granted to Amarenco Solar, which develops, builds and operates renewable energy power plants.

The new solar farm is expected to generate approximately 5.6 million units (kWhrs) of electricity per annum.

The proposed solar farm will comprise of approximately 22,000 photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted frames.

The planning permission was granted after “successful consultation with the local community” for the new facility, which is located just outside Ballineen village in west Cork, according to a company spokesperson.

This site is the eleventh solar farm that Amarenco Solar has received planning permission for in Ireland.

John Mullins, CEO of Amarenco Solar, commented on the move, saying: “The application approval by Cork County Council is very welcome news.

We are keen to commence real investment in solar plant and facilities, and to see that solar energy is strategically adopted as a real provider of renewable energy in Ireland.

Continuing, the CEO tempered his welcome with caution, adding: “However, we are still awaiting a decision on renewable tariffs and hope the Government will soon follow the lead of all other EU countries.

“Our solar plants can be built within three months of commencement, allowing us to keep taxpayers’ money at home, in place of paying hefty fines for carbon emissions from 2020 onwards.”

The solar sector is yet to receive a decision from the Government on the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS).

To date, Ireland is the only country in the European Union that does not have a policy towards solar, according to the renewable energy firm.