An area that centres around the townland of Cushaling was 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 included 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.
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 appeared to be suitable include the following:
- It is centered 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.
- There is the potential to bring a significant economic benefit to the local area
Another important aspect of this assessment is the potential for the renewable energy project 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.