Plans for a new solar farm in Mountrath featuring some 20,000 solar panels is estimated to generate enough energy to power 1,000 Laois homes.
Elgin Energy Services Ltd, with company directors Tony Kilduff, Colm Murphy and Joe Walsh, has applied to Laois County Council to erect a 4.2MVA solar farm at the townland of Derry More, Mountrath.
The farm will consist of solar PV panels on five fields of approximately 12.5ha in total. These arrays will be connected into a series of inverter stations, before being connected to the national electrical grid via the existing ESB 38kV Mountrath substation. Some 935m of underground cable will be needed for this.
In their application, the company states that “solar PV will become the most prevalent source of renewable technology over the coming years” and claims that the new solar farm will greatly assist meeting the country’s renewable energy targets.
Mr Sean Perry, company spokesman, confirmed to the Leinster Express that approximately 20,000 solar panels, measuring around 2m by 1m, will be needed to cover the proposed development.
The solar panels will be fixed in position, driven into the ground 2m to 6m apart. The project will be surrounded by a 2.5m high deer fence, allowing a 5m buffer between the hedgerows and fencing.
The company is applying for planning permission that is effective for 10 years and an operational period of 30 years.
It points out that at the UN climate talks in Paris in December 2015, solar energy was recognised as the most versatile of technologies available.
“The amount of energy that the sun sends to the earth within one hour is enough to provide the world’s population with electricity for one year,” said the company in their application.
Elgin has delivered solar farm projects in NI, England, Scotland and Wales, claiming that this has provided green energy for over 50,000 households.
The company believes that the Mountrath project will help power 1,000 homes locally.