Planning application lodged for Kells solar PV project

Ronan Kilduff, Elgin Energy MD,  Gawn  Graham Land owner, Garry Best, Land Agent, Best Property Services'�Brian Thompson Photography
Ronan Kilduff, Elgin Energy MD, Gawn Graham Land owner, Garry Best, Land Agent, Best Property Services'�Brian Thompson Photography

A planning application has been submitted by Elgin Energy EsCo Ltd for a significant Solar PV development on lands adjacent to Whappstown Road, to the east of the villages of Kells and Connor, Co. Antrim.

Elgin Energy Managing Director Ronan Kilduff said: “Solar PV is a proven technology which converts daylight into direct current in a green, zero carbon efficient way. The photovoltaic panels will continue to generate electricity every day of year for the project lifespan of 25 years.

“The site benefits from existing topography and landscaping that will assist in naturally screening the development and also benefits from good access and proximity to national grid infrastructure,” he added.

The proposed Solar PV development will generate approximately 50MW of electricity annually, which equates to enough electricity to serve the total power needs of approximately 15,000 homes per year and offset some 1,075,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the project.

The final site layout has been refined through an extensive consultation process with the local community and stakeholders.

Solar farms are a temporary structure built within a four month window and are completely reversible at the end of their project lifetime. Decommissioning of the panels can be carried out in a matter of weeks, with all equipment either been reused or recycled.

The land will continue to be in agricultural use in the form of sheep grazing and a biodiversity management plan will be implemented to enhance wildlife in the local area.

In addition to helping NI meet their renewable energy targets and the transition to a low carbon economy, of which 569 jobs, both directly and indirectly will be introduced across the installation and operational phases of the project.