IRELAND

New plans unveiled for Castlegarden solar installation

Lightsource bp, a global leader in the financing, development and management of solar energy projects, will be outlining their proposal to fund, develop and build a 68MWac solar installation on 268 acres of land near Castlegarden and Cloghscregg, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny at a community information event on 26th October. 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 at The Long Man, Kilfane Country Lodge, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, 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 solar installation will provide enough clean renewable energy to power 19,384 homes, saving 35,419 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 21,287 large family cars off the roads. 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, the proposed layout for the solar installation at Castlegarden 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 benefiting 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.

Lightsource bp will also produce 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.

The proposed fields have been chosen because they are well-screened by local topography which would limit any surrounding views of the solar installation.

Katy McGuiness, 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 info@lightsourcebp.com quoting ‘Castlegarden’.

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