Plans for a major solar energy farm on a 27-hectare site in Co Wicklow have been approved by Wicklow County Council.
The permission comes as the Government is preparing a new renewable energy support scheme scheduled to be operational by the first half of 2018.
The solar farm near Rathnew, north of Wicklow Town, includes photo-voltaic panels covering an area of 182,120sq m on steel frames, with a maximum height of about 2.5m.
The solar farm is being proposed by BNRGN Millvale Ltd, which is understood to be backed by David Maguire of BNRG Renewables, a firm which has extensive solar power interests in the UK and has already been linked to plans for solar farms in Co Cork.
The permission follows Wicklow County Council’s decision in April to grant planning approval for a separate solar energy farm at Ballinaclough, Rathnew, to Gaelelectric Energy Developments.
The 10-year permission covers underground cabling, fencing and access tracks as well as an electrical sub-station. The permission is currently under appeal to An Bord Pleanála, with a decision expected next month.
Solar energy is currently receiving renewed interest around the world following claims from the industry that the cost of solar photo-voltaic technology fell by 80 per cent from 2008 to 2013.
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