IRELAND

Lightsource bp to hold community consultation event for new County Carlow solar and storage project proposal

Lightsource bp, a global leader in the financing, development and management of solar energy projects, will be outlining their proposal to fund and develop a 95MWac solar and storage installation on 320 acres of land at Straboe, Tullow, Co. Carlow, at a community information event on Wednesday 7th June 2023. Lightsource bp is inviting residents from the surrounding area to attend the community information event, where further information will be made available on the proposals.

The community information event will be held on Wednesday 7th June at the Grange GAC Club Hall, and residents are invited to drop in at any time between 2pm – 8pm. The Lightsource bp team will be on hand to discuss the planning proposal and gather feedback from the local community.

The proposed Straboe solar and storage project will provide enough clean renewable energy to power 26,000 homes, saving 47,100 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 28,300 large family cars off the roads. The 95MWac Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) installation also proposed will provide grid balancing services, maximising the use of renewable energy generated at by the solar project. This project is a key facet of Lightsource bp’s mission to rapidly accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.

As well as generating clean energy, Lightsource bp solar projects are designed so that they also act as a haven for local wildlife, and the company are committed to delivering a Biodiversity Net Gain at each of their sites. A bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan will be developed in conjunction with the planning application, and this will ensure that the plan enhances the site as much as possible for local wildlife. As part of this initiative, our planting, seeding and habitat creation plans will focus on native species. Lightsource bp is also eager to hear from wildlife enthusiasts and local schools who may be interested in playing a role in the ongoing monitoring of wildlife on the site, as part of the company’s drive to contribute positively to all the communities it serves.

The proposed layout for the solar project at Straboe has been designed in such a way that most of the open grassland on the site will be suitable for grazing small livestock, allowing the land to retain the potential for agricultural use. Lightsource bp is committed to supporting the rural economy and benefitting local communities, and this site has been designed with these priorities in mind. Wide grassy avenues will be left between the rows of solar panels, to reduce shading and optimise the amount of sunlight each row of panels receives. This will leave around 70% of the solar installation as open grassland, ideal for grazing livestock, while the panels provide shade, shelter and protection for sheep, geese or chickens.

The proposed fields have been chosen because they are in most cases, well-screened by local topography which would limit any surrounding views of the solar installation. Mitigation planting will be used to minimise any views of the site as best possible.

Katy McGuinness, Head of Environmental Planning UK & Ireland, Lightsource bp said:

“Solar energy is not only clean and renewable, but it also generates locally-produced electricity. This makes solar an important part of meeting the global rise in energy demand efficiently and more sustainably, which is a core aspect of Lightsource bp’s sustainability mission. We want to ensure that local communities in and around the proposed location have all the information they need about this project. We’re holding this information event to speak to elected representatives, local businesses and residents of the local community, and to gather feedback. This event is also a great way for the community to ask any questions they may have about the project or solar energy in general.”

Residents can obtain further information on the project, at any time, by getting in touch with the Lightsource bp team via ireland@lightsourcebp.com quoting ‘Straboe’

Find out more about our Straboe solar project

We’ve put together a summary of our project proposal for the Straboe solar project, as well as a collection of resources on solar in general.

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