Planning permission is being sought for a 25 hectare expansion of an approved solar farm between Claregalway and Athenry.
Renewable Energy Systems Ltd is seeking planning permission for a solar energy development on land at Ballymoneen/Grange East.
The additional 25 hectares of photovoltaic panels would operate together with the 140ha solar energy development at this location, for which they received approval in January of 2021.
The development would consist of solar panels mounted on ground based frames, eight inverter substations, and associated infrastructure, with CCTV and other security fencing.
The site comprises five fields bounded by dry stone walls, fences, and hedgerows, approximately 0.5km east of Cregmore Park Golf Club.
A planning report for this application states that it is expected that construction will take approximately 12 months, both for the solar farm already approved and for this extension.
This development would generate enough electricity to power 6,000 homes a year, it is claimed, providing increased energy security.
According to the planning documents “small livestock may continue to graze the site beneath and between arrays” while the solar farm is operational, keeping the land in agricultural use.
The already approved application for the main body of the solar farm said that it would have an operational lifespan of 35 years.
Galway County Council is due to make a decision on this proposed extension by May 19.