MEGA WHATS?: Planning Permission granted for two 5MW SOLAR FARMS at Beal na Bláth and Ballinvarrig in Co Cork

23 May 2017
By Tom Collins

Potential to provide the equivalent of 15,000 three-bedroom homes with clean renewable solar energy
Total investment in ten solar facilities that have been granted planning permission equates to €70 million

Cork County Council has granted planning approval for two new 5MW solar farms at Beal na Bláth (which incidentally, is the townland where historic Irish patriot Michael Collins was shot) and Ballinvarrig in Co Cork. The permission has been granted to Amarenco Solar. Each of the solar farms will comprise approximately 22,200 photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted frames within a site area of 10.2 hectares and each project will employ 40 during the construction phase.

Following the granting of permission for the new facilities, Amarenco Solar, which is headquartered in Cork, now has ten plants with total capacity of 50MW with full planning approval in Cork and Waterford. The solar plants will be on farming lands that will help farmers increase and diversify income by providing a stable source of revenue and ensuring the viability of agriculture for decades to come. Sheep will also be farmed on the all solar farm lands.

John Mullins and Pauler Dicker, Amarenco Solar at Whitechurch, Co. Cork. Pic John Sheehan

It is expected that the Irish Government will announce tariffs applicable to solar farms by the end of June 2017. These facilities will help the Government hit the EU 2020 renewable energy targets, which on the basis of current momentum will not be reached. Once introduced, companies will need funding to build solar farms across Ireland.

MC2 Accountants is currently completing the second round of Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) Scheme funding, a tax relief incentive scheme which provides all income tax relief to investors for investments in qualifying SMEs, for Amarenco Solar Projects Ltd, a company developing all of the Irish farms.

John Mullins, CEO, Amarenco Solar said: “These application approvals by Cork County Council is very welcome news and is part of a significant number of applications being prepared by Amarenco Solar for Ireland. We are strongly committed to solar energy in Ireland. The Government needs to recognise the importance of solar and follow the lead of all other EU countries and publish solar PV tariffs sooner rather than later. To date, Ireland is the only country in the European Union that does not have a policy towards solar, the fastest growing source of electricity in the world. It is important for the Government to note the importance of these facilities, and the positive impact in not only Munster, but Ireland. The construction of these solar farms will boost the Irish economy through the generation of employment, benefit the agricultural sector and create a significant new source of renewable energy.”

“At the end of 2015, the Government published a White Paper on Energy, designed to enable Ireland meet its EU binding obligations for renewable energy. Unfortunately, we are no closer to meeting these targets. Currently the country is meeting 9.5% of its binding renewable targets for the EU, and it is expected to get to 16% by 2020. If these targets are not reached, the Irish taxpayer will be left paying very large annual bills from 2020 that will run into hundreds of millions of euro.”

About Amarenco Solar
Amarenco is an independent renewable energy power company that develops, builds and operates renewable energy power plants. Solar and wind energy are the most abundant and available energy sources on Earth. Amarenco is dedicated to harvesting that energy in an environmentally responsible way, as part of a global transition to clean and renewable energy. Amarenco’s senior team of energy executives have delivered over €5bn of renewable energy investments over the last twenty years. Amarenco commissioned its first project investment in 2014 and now has over 75 MWp of operating solar projects across France and a further developing pipeline of projects across its key markets of operation. Amarenco Solar now has offices in Cork, Dublin, London, Nice and Gaillac.

 About Mc2 Accountants
The Partners in Mc2 Accountants (Mc2) have been involved in EIIS Investments (formerly BES) for the last 10 years. During this time they have completed over 25 investments in a variety of companies, including the likes of Netwatch and Murphys Ice Cream. Mc2 focuses on investments in companies with capable and experienced management teams and growth potential.

About Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme
The Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) is a tax relief incentive scheme which provides all income tax relief to Investors for investments in qualifying SMEs. EIIS is one of the few remaining income tax reliefs and is one of the few sources of total income relief including rental income.

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