Kilkenny community gets €700,000 boost from solar farm development
A new government-led initiative has provided a Kilkenny community with a major cash injection because of a massive renewable energy project being developed in its locality.
The Ballytobin Solar Farm on is one of seven projects nationwide that will benefit from a €4 million scheme, which also ensures the local communities benefits from funds generated by the development.
Environment Minister Eamonn Ryan launched the programme, which will see the establishment of community involvement in the creation of renewable and sustainable energy production through the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
Minister Ryan said: “We have seen in other countries, like Germany, that direct citizen and community involvement in the green energy revolution both benefits communities and builds support for the radical transformation we need to make to reach our climate goals.
“I want to build on this by providing communities with the expertise they need to develop more of these projects.”
“Developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), it (Community Enabling Framework), will provide a range of technical and financial supports at the various stages in the life-cycle of a renewable project including trusted advisors who will work closely with communities,” Minister Ryan added.
The first wave of projects in the scheme will see almost €4 million in Community Benefit Funds being spent in local communities each year including Balltytobin.
The seven schemes, including two in both Mayo and Galway and one each in Wexford and Cork, could see each local community benefit to the tune of close to €700,000 in investment.