Senator Pippa Hackett visits Cloncreen Wind Farm Project
Updated: Jun 13, 2021
Senator Pippa Hackett has welcomed progress on the Cloncreen Wind Farm Project, highlighting the amenity and economic gain that is expected to flow from it, to Offaly and the rest of the Midlands.
Following a visit to the site on Tuesday, the Senator said: ‘I am really proud of the part the Midlands is playing in helping us meet our renewable energy targets and the Cloncreen Project is a terrific example of how moving from a brown to a green economy can benefit everyone. In the past, these peatlands supported many Offaly families through peat extraction, now, even though extraction has finished, they continue to do so. It was wonderful to see the plans for rehabilitation, and the regeneration that is already taking place. This land is being revived to create a healthier environment, and a healthier source of energy. And on top of all this we are going to see great amenities and high quality jobs.’
When it is complete, it is expected that the Cloncreen Wind Farm will produce sufficient power to supply 55,000 homes with renewable energy per annum. At the moment, expressions of interest are being accepted through Bord na Mona for a range of roles in its development. The Project is making a direct investment of €1million in the Offaly economy and 100 people are expected to be working directly on it by the end of the year.
In speaking about the development, Senator Hackett highlighted the wider benefits it is expected to bring to the Midlands.
“The windfarm footprint will only take up a tiny percentage of the site area here, and the plans for the rest of it are really exciting. I welcome Bord na Móna’s commitment to deliver a range of benefits for the local community and other visitors. These will include the provision of 20km of walkways and cycleways through the rehabilitated peatland site, a site which will also provide an extensive new habitat for native plant and animal species. I know Bord na Móna estimates that over the entire Midlands area their Climate Action projects will deliver at least €26million in community gain for local and community projects by 2030, and I expect a fair chunk of that to be realised here in the Cloncreen area. It is wonderful to see that being achieved by a project which also helps deal with the climate emergency, cuts carbon emissions and delivers on green energy targets.”