ESB and Bord na Móna Powergen Limited (“BNM PGEN”) entered into a Co- Development Agreement (CDA) in August 2016 through which they intend to jointly develop, own and operate solar photovoltaic farms (solar farms) on up to 5000 acres of the BNM lands, with up to an aggregate generation capacity of 500 MW.
Sundew Solar was incorporated on the 12th April 2019 to develop, build and operate the portfolio of solar projects. Sundew Solar is a joint 50:50 venture company formed between BNM PGEN and ESB Wind Development Limited. Sundew Solar
The proposed renewable energy development will comprise of
(a) the construction and operation of 2 areas of solar photovoltaic arrays mounted on metal frames over an area of approximately 200ha, and having a maximum overall height of 3 metres over ground level.
(b) Internal solar farm underground cabling.
(c) 2 no. temporary construction compounds.
(d) recreation and amenity work, including looped walk (upgrade of existing tracks and provision of new tracks, car parking and vehicular access);
(e) 1 no. Battery Storage compound.
(f) upgrade of existing tracks and provision of new site access roads.
(g) site drainage.
(h) forestry felling and replanting.
(i) permanent signage; and
(j) all associated site development and ancillary works.
The proposed renewable energy development will have an operational life of 35 years from the date of commissioning.
The overall renewable energy project also includes the provision of a 110kV substation with associated electrical plant, welfare facilities, wastewater holding tank, security fencing, upgrade of existing tracks and provision of new site access roads, 110kV overhead line grid connection cabling with associated angle lattice masts and supporting polesets and all ancillary works
The project site is located in the townland of Timahoe, to the north of the Timahoe crossroads and 7 km south of Johnstown Bridge Co Kildare. The subject lands are referred to as the Timahoe North Bog. This land is a raised bog that forms part of Bord Na Mona (BNM) commercial bog at Timahoe. The site area of this bog is large at almost 8 km² (800 ha) in area.
The topography of the bog is saucer like with lands slightly elevated to the southwest and northeast and a large flat section in the middle generally at elevations below 80 m OD. The bog has large wide man-made drains running in a north-west – south-east longitudinal direction, spaced c. 250m apart and totalling 11 main (continuous) drains across the full width of the site. There are a number of other, similarly orientated, drains that are discontinued with standing water only. Two raised access tracks across the bog from the southwest to northeast are present which facilitated narrow gauge rail line access to the site during peat production. The bog is bounded to the northwest and north by a tributary of the Fear English River which flows northwards away from the site and joins the Kells Blackwater (Boyne River System). To the south the bog is bounded by open drains that form the Derrylea tributary which flows southeast away from the site past Doran Nurseries before heading northeast and north to join the Kells Blackwater.
Peat – Typically described as black and brown fibrous to amorphous peat. Peat thicknesses in the trial pits and window sampling carried out to date ranged from 0.0 to 3.5m.
Vegetation – Sections of the bog where Bord na Móna historically ceased production have started to revegetate with some areas of dense vegetation having become established.
Flooding – Sections of Timahoe North bog are subject to periodic flooding during the winter. Works in these areas should be completed during periods of dry weather and may need to be addressed as a priority area similar to those shown in drawings within Appendix A. Note that prioritised areas outlined within drawings must be completed first.
The Timahoe North Solar Farm site is regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) Licence No. P0503-01 (Bord na Móna Biomass Ltd.). Planning permission has been granted on appeal for Timahoe North Solar Farm by An Bord Pleanála (PL 305953).). Substation granted by ABP ( 303249). Bord na Móna have applied to the Department of Agriculture, Farm for a Tree Felling Licence.