A map with the study area being considered for the Garryhinch Wind Farm marked in blue.

Wind farm earmarked for Garryhinch Bog

Bord na Móna is proposing to develop a wind farm on Garryhinch Bog, located in counties Laois and Offaly.

While commencing phase one of public consultation, the semi-state company has stressed in a public notice that the project is at a “very early stage” and the proposed turbine locations and height “have not yet been determined”.

The development study area being examined for the proposed wind farm is Garryhinch Bog, located in counties Laois and Offaly, adjacent to the communities of Clonygowan and Mountmellick, taking in the Cooltycanon and Clonyhurke townlands, and coming close to several others like Forest Upper, Garryhinch and Garrymore.

Over the coming months, in order to determine the extent of the proposed development, Bord na Móna says it will undertake a number of on-site surveys on Garryhinch Bog, such as ecology surveys, ornithology surveys, aquatic surveys, heritage surveys, and site investigation works.

In addition, the company will also commence a series of off-site surveys, such as noise monitoring at sensitive receptors around the site and topographical surveys of the proposed grid connection and proposed haul routes.

“The development of a wind farm on this bog would continue the long tradition of energy production in a new increasingly sustainable form and underpin Bord na Móna’s move away from its traditional ‘brown’ generation to a more sustainable ‘green’ future. The electricity generated by the turbines would be transmitted directly onto Ireland’s National Grid which is managed by EirGrid for distribution around the country,” the information booklet in relation to the proposal details, adding that they now seeking to consult with the local community and get feedback on the plans.

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, Bord na Móna intends to hold a series of Community Engagement Sessions in late January in the locality of the proposed development as follows: January 25, 2022: Mountmellick Conference Centre, MDA Business Park January 26, 2022: CYMS Hall, Cloneygowan, January 27, 2022: St Brigid’s Community Hall, Garryhinch/Cloneyhurke. All sessions will be held from 5-9pm.

The draft wind turbine layout will be available at the second round of public consultations which is expected in the Spring/Summer of 2022 and will provide detail on the setback distance, location, height and number of proposed turbines.

Photomontages of what the development would look like are also expected to be available at this stage.

Bord na Móna will go through a pre-planning consultation process to determine whether it is progressed through the Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID), a fast track process for large projects which means the proposal goes straight to An Bord Pleanála and bypasses the local authority.