Clare County Council Backs Re-Zoning of Lands For Renewable Projects

I have been working with the Carbon Sole Group lately on a very exciting project for the Shannon region. Plans to develop a large combined heat and power plant are well advanced. A project like this will bring jobs and renewable energy to our doorstep and I don't need to tell you that in today environment, that is huge! Here's a press release explaining what it's all about.

Fine Gael Senate Spokesman on Energy, Communications and Natural Resources, Tony Mulcahy has welcomed a decision by members of Clare County Council to back the rezoning of lands at Stonehall, near Newmarket on Fergus, to facilitate the development of a large-scale renewable energy projects.

The majority of Clare’s 32 Elected Members this evening voted in favour of rezoning an 80-acre tract of land at Stonehall, which was has been included in the Shannon Town & Environs Local Area Plan 2012-2018.

Senator Mulcahy said the move paved the way for third parties to develop green energy projects in line with the objectives for Shannon set out in the Clare County Development Plan.

“I wish to congratulate Clare County Council for its vision in facilitating the creation of a green energy valley that provides a reliable source of energy for Shannon Town, including the Airport and Free Zone. I also want to compliment the Council’s Elected Members, interested third parties and residents of Stonehall who contributed to today’s decision”, stated the Shannon-based Senator.

Senator Mulcahy said he supported one particular project that has already been earmarked for Stonehall, pending a successful application to the planning authority.

“I have met with Carbon Sole Group on numerous occasions in recent months. I believe that the company’s proposal to develop a70MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility at Stonehall would help to create and sustain hundreds of jobs directly throughout the region, as well as provide a clean, cheap and reliable source of energy to the surrounding hinterland, attracting employment intensive investment to the District Heat Network.”

“The company has informed me that it has selected Shannon as a possible location for the CHP, due to its close proximity to forested regions where bio-fuel could be sourced but also due to the size and layout of the town with respect to industrial & commercial areas that will benefit from future foreign direct investment (FDI) attracted to a Carbon Neutral Zone, as the town will be no longer reliant on fossil fuels and associated thermal energy price fluctuations,” he said.

Senator Mulcahy noted: “The rezoning decision allows the Carbon Sole Group Ltd, the technology delivery partners Green Exergy AB (Swedish company experienced in delivering efficient clean CHP) and other third parties interested in developing green energy projects in Shannon to progress their plans, and in doing so give Shannon town and its environs a valuable opportunity to secure both long-term energy security and a low carbon future.”

Senator Mulcahy said plans to develop the facility were already at an advanced stage. He commented: “Carbon Sole Group’s grid connection application for a Shannon Biomass HeCHP has been deemed completed by ESB Networks and Eirgrid. The company is awaiting a decision from the Commission for Energy Regulation on priority despatch as per SEM market decisions, in line with renewable electricity and heat targets. The decision requires further clarity on the efficiency certification process with respect to “useable heat” as when distributed through district heat networks in order to facilitate extra capacity to attract future employment to Shannon and the regeneration of the industrial and commercial estates.”

Senator Mulcahy continued: “As spokesperson for The Oireachtas Committee on Energy & Natural Resources I have met with Sean Daly (CEO of Carbon Sole Group Ltd) and Rolf Lindgren (Vice President of Green Exergy AB). It is clear that both parties have the proven ability to deliver world-class biomass High Efficiency Combined Heat & Power and related green energy infrastructure/district heat network.”

“These investments in green energy and infrastructure will deliver increased GDP whilst reducing CO₂ emissions as proven in Sweden, a win-win for the Midwest region. More importantly, this is an investment in job intensive green energy, built on farming and forestry supply chains. This process will deliver direct employment in the operations and full-time equivalents in harvesting, haulage, installation of the district heating (DH) network, heat exchangers and servicing of such, further downstream attracting FDI to a sustainable regional carbon neutral economy,” Senator Mulcahy concluded.


Anonymous –   – (April 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM)  

Your enthusiasm for this project is only surpassed by your total lack of genuine care for the local residents. The flippant remarks you,ve made are at the least offensive to the local Stonehall community and at best ignorant-arrogant.
Your desire for votes to further your career seems to emanate from every project you undertake.
Of course you can't please everyone all the time, but putting votes before local community care will eventually be your downfall in politics.
The classic road to political ruin. Stepping on locals for political power heights.
Continue to ignore residents concerns at your peril

Anonymous –   – (April 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM)  

To the above post, Well said. Now you Tony Mulcahy have sold locals down the river to get your 30 pieces of silver and some political clout. We are all well aware that Fine Gael (Your Party) applied the party whip to this vote. So what is planned next in this 80 acre rezoned site, when only 25 was actually needed for the CHP. If a waste incinerator is to be planned, be prepared to feel a serious backlash everywhere you go as you are putting everybody's health and lives at risk. You and the councilors who voted this in have already ruined the people of Stonehall's lives. Shame on You!
I am asking you now to go on the record publicly tell people that No waste Incinerator or other hazardous industry will be ever on this 80 acre site.

Tony Mulcahy  – (April 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM)  

It's all too easy to mud-sling from behind a veil of anonymity. I would be happy to discuss this project with you or indeed anyone with views or concerns about it, either publicly or privately, once you decide to make yourself known.

alice myers  – (April 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM)  

no anonymity here tony name is alice myers and i am one of the residents of stonehall and enviorns who is negatively impacted by this decision .up until tuesday evening i had the absolute pleasure of living in a rural community along with my husband and two children . following the rezoning decision i now live 500m from an industrial estate . to get to my house you will now have to drive through the newly established carbon free zone , asuming you can get here safely while coping with the 40 trucks a day delivering timber ect to the plant and other associated traffic accessing the newly established industrial estate .
i wonder what impact that this decision has already had on the value of my home .
if the proposed power plant does actually go ahead then i will have the absolute horror of looking at the 45m monstrosity from my home and garden ,listening to the noise of the 24 hr timber processing , the associated smells and god knows what health implications we will be exposed to . absolutely no consideration was given to us or any of the other families who are living in this area . no thought to the health implications for us , the quality of life for us or indeed the financial implications of living in the shadow of a power plant . our homes will become worthless , our lives severly impacted and our community destroyed.
i take offence to your above remark where you compliment the residents of stonehall for their contribution to todays decision . i was one of the 55 residents who attended the vote in clare county council and i can tell you that not one of the residents were there to support this proposal .
once again we have been shown quite clearly that the needs of the people come second to the needs or wishes of industry and that we the people mean nothing in the political arena.

Martin Saunders  – (April 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM)  

Alice , politicians seem to forget that 'we the people' helped get them to the positions they represent.

Tony your one to talk about hiding behind a veil of anonymity , when you and your colleagues have known about this for the last 15+ months when Carbon Sole made their proposal and you personally have been pushing for it for rezoning the least 3 years.

You have not made any attempt to allow the people of Stonehall or Shannon to be involved in any shape or fashion until now , when its too late to do anything about it!

I would not be surprised if planning for this incinerator has already been approved pending the outcome of the rezoning , which was a given anyway !

We are all for creating jobs and providing sustainable energy but not at the cost of a community and peoples health, particularly when there are other industrial areas this plant could be located within.

Where can the residents of Shannon and Stonehall see the proposed plans and specifications of this Carbon Neutral (if such a thing exists) Incinerator ?

BTW why have you removed the option to allow people to comment without simply entering their names ? If you don't want someone's comment aired, simply don't approve it.

Martin Saunders

Bob Moore  – (April 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM)  

My name is Bobby Moore, i've been a resident of Shannon for 32 years. I have a number of questions about this rezoned land. First of all i'm not against any jobs or industrial growth in the area. What i am concerned about is peoples way of life and health been affected. I think it was disgusting the way this was pushed through with little time to debate the issues even though you and others knew about it as Mr Saunders said for 15+months? I suppose the main concern of a lot of people is If Carbon Sole are allocated their 25 acres of an 80 acre site. what else is planned for the other 55 acres? Is there any danger of a waste incinerator or any other dangerous enterprise planned for this site? If so, where do you stand on this issue? And why was a more suitable site ignored in favour of this particular site? These questions along with others i'm sure must be answered.
Bobby Moore

b  – (April 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM)  

Maybe if the residents in Stonehall don’t want it, it could be put up in the now idle Finsa factory in Scarriff. The heat from the plant could be used to heat the homes and business in Tuamgraney and Scarriff at a discount thereby benefiting all and turn attract in new business into a town that the Celt Tiger never visited.Scarriff could develop it into a town like Gussing in Austria. It is a showcase for renewable energy in Europe. See the article below by the now deceased visionary Richard Douthwaite.

Eimear McInerney  – (May 11, 2012 at 2:13 AM)  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eimear McInerney  – (May 11, 2012 at 2:54 AM)  
This comment has been removed by the author.

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Tony Mulcahy

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