Mount Lucas Wind Farm, Co.Offaly
Mount Lucas is home to Bord na Móna Powergen’s recently completed 80 Mega watt wind farm. Bord na Móna developed its cutaway peatland in Mount Lucas and installed 28 Siemens wind turbines in 2014.
Mount Lucas, Co Offaly, was opened by Alex White, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Sited on 1,100 of cutaway bog that exited production in 2004, the wind farm would become the first facility to be built on the midland’s vast cutaway bogs.
The site was identified as a prime location for renewable energy generation in 2006 and following an application received planning permission for development in 2010. The 84MW Mount Lucas wind farm qualifies for support under the REFIT mechanism for renewable energy.
Building on its legacy of close community co-operation, Bord na Móna pursued a policy of ongoing engagement with local communities around Mount Lucas. During the development of the facility the company met with community groups, held open days, community meetings and established a community benefit scheme.
Apart from the direct supports to community, wind farms such as Mount Lucas support local suppliers of goods and services, local employment, provide road upgrades and are a significant source of rates and development contributions to local authorities.
Bord na Móna has also deployed its ecology team, led by Dr Catherine Farrell, to Mount Lucas to rehabilitate the cutaway peatland and create a rich and biodiverse habitat across the 1,100 ha wind farm site. Locals and outdoor enthusiasts will shortly be able to enjoy the flourishing habitat when a 5km amenity and walking trail is opened there. It is intended that in the next 20 years, as more wind farms are developed people can enjoy the direct benefits of renewable energy facilities in communities which will be supplying clean, safe and renewable energy to cities, towns and villages all across Ireland.