Despite the challenges with the planning process, there has been no shortage of activity around the country.

The first modern fully agricultural anaerobic digestion plant in recent years has been approved in Lisglennon, north Mayo.

Lisglennon AD was first approved by Mayo County Council in June 2022 but was appealed by neighbours and a residents’ group. An Bord Pleanála subsequently approved the plant.

The plant will process 42,500t of grass silage and 18,000t of slurry annually. All feedstock will be sourced locally.

The project will connect to the national gas grid via a new 8.6km-long pipeline. The digestate will be used locally as an organic fertiliser, according to the planning files.

Solar farms

Meanwhile, a decision by Tipperary County Council to grant permission for a 170ac solar farm near Clonmel was recently appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Springmount Solar Farms was granted conditional approval for a circa 60MW solar PV farm.

In Wicklow, Solas Éireann Development is awaiting a decision on whether it can build a 69ac solar farm near Blessington.

In Cork, Nutricia Infant Nutrition was granted permission to build a 45ac solar farm next to its factory in Macroom. In Glannaharee West, Cork Reeve Wave has applied for permission for a 40ac solar farm.

Wind farms

In Donegal, planning permission for a 19-turbine wind farm near the Gweebarra River was refused.

The application by Cloghercor Wind Farm Limited was for turbines ranging from 185m to 200m in height. The wind farm drew significant local opposition.

In Cork, an appeal for 10-year planning permission for seven 178.5m tall wind turbines by Wingleaf was refused.

In Clare, an application by Slieveacurry Limited for eight 174m wind turbines close to Miltown Malbay was also refused.