30th December 2022
€30k LEADER GRANT FOR MULLINGAR SOLAR PARK FEASIBILITY STUDY
The Mullingar Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is one step closer to its goal of building a solar park on the former landfill site at Marlinstown, Mullingar, following the approval of a €30,000 Leader grant from Westmeath Community Development (WCD) towards the preparation of a technical feasibility study for the project.
This grant represents a crucial milestone in this important project which will ensure Mullingar’s sustainable energy future, helping to reduce the town’s carbon emissions.
The project has already been offered a connection to the National Grid by the ESB and the next step will be to liaise with Westmeath County Council in securing planning permission for the project.
It is hoped that the Mullingar Solar Park will generate up to 5MW of renewable energy, but the eventual capacity of the site will be determined by the technical feasibility study.
The Mullingar SEC is currently appointing consultants to undertake the feasibility study which will commence in January and take around four months to complete. The process will include extensive public consultation with local residents and businesses in the area in order to answer any questions and address any concerns that people may have.
The Mullingar Solar Park is being promoted by the Mullingar Sustainable Energy Community, with support from Community Power, Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and in consultation with Westmeath County Council.
The SEC is also in the process of establishing a Co-operative to develop and operate the solar park. The group noted that solar parks are growing in popularity due to the fact that they have a low visual impact and can be installed on sheltered sites, as well as regenerating this landfill site.
Welcoming the announcement of the €30,000 grant from Westmeath Community Development, Cllr. Hazel Smyth, Chairperson of the Mullingar Sustainable Energy Community, said:
“We are very grateful to Westmeath Community Development for this very generous grant which will enable the Mullingar SEC to undertake a technical feasibility study for the development of a 100% community-owned solar park on the former landfill site at Marlinstown. This marks a very important milestone in this exciting project which will help to secure the energy future of Mullingar for years to come.”
The Mullingar SEC is also seeking corporate sponsorship to help fund its activities. Any businesses in the town that are interested in becoming a sponsor can find further details at https://mullingarsec.ie/
Pictured with Teresa Geoghegan, Westmeath Community Partnership (centre), at the announcement of the Leader grant are members of the Mullingar Sustainable Energy Community, (l to r): Tony Palmer; Cllr. Hazel Smyth; Gerard Keena and Paddy Mathews.