An area around that centers around the townland of Cushaling has been identified as a having the potential to accommodate wind energy. Many factors are taken into consideration when carrying out a feasibility test and these include:
- The capacity to achieve a suitable set back distances for the turbines to houses in the local area
- The impact that shadow flicker curtailment or the elimination of shadow flicker would have on the viability of the project
- How the existing environment and landscape could accommodate a wind energy project.
Other considerations include the County Development Plan, how the wind farm would work in terms of existing wind farms in the area and the suitability of the roads infrastructure for construction.
Another important aspect of this assessment is the potential for the renewable energy proposal to play a positive role in the future development of the local area. We would welcome feedback from people in the area on the potential opportunities that they would see and what the needs and wants of the local area are.
An assessment of the area around the townland of Cushaling in north county Offaly identified an area that warranted consideration for a wind energy proposal. Some of the reasons that this area would appear to be suitable includes the following:
- It is centers around an area of bogland
- It is possible to get increased separation distances between houses and turbines of 1km and over
- The type of landscape in the area would lend itself to accommodating wind energy
- There are no designated environmentally sensitive areas in the area under consideration
- The area has been identified in the Offaly County Development Plan as being suitable for wind energy development
- Shadow Flicker can be eliminated
- Increased separation distances would reduce any additional noise levels that may be experienced
- There is an existing economic relationship in this area with electricity production which, if completely lost, could have long-term negative impacts for the area.
Existing Wind Energy in the area
A consideration that has been taken into account in the assessment of the suitability of this area is the proximity of the permitted Cloncreen Wind Farm and the existing Mountlucas Wind Farm. In certain instances, there can be an impact of nearby wind energy developments on the capacity of an area to suitably accommodate additional developments and this is taken into account.
Having considered the type of landscape in the local area, screening, set back distances and local viewpoints, it is considered that the proposed and existing (including permitted) wind farms in the area will work well together in the local area. Photomontages of what this would look like will be developed as part of the development process so that how the wind farm would actually look can be visualised.