July 2017 – Project Update

Commercial Operations
The Wind Farm reached a significant milestone on the 31st March 2017, moving from a construction project to a fully operational Wind Farm. The operation of the project is now managed by Wind Prospect Operations Ltd. on behalf of Sliabh Bawn Power DAC. Primary contact details remain unchanged and these are set out above. The project team would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the community for its co-operation during the construction phase of the project.

Noise Monitoring
As an integral part of the project’s adherence to planning conditions, Operational Noise Monitoring commenced in Late April. The process remains ongoing and is dependent on weather as monitoring needs to be conducted on a wide cross-section of wind speeds and directions.

Recreation works
Phase II of the recreation works is near completion with the open forest policy resuming by the end of the month. The map below gives an overview of the significant new recreation amenities for Sliabh Bawn. Plans include a trim trail for fitness, an equestrian trail, looped walks, a raised viewing platform, additional car parking and a new picnic area.

Community Benefit Fund
A total of 24 projects are being supported by the 2016 annual fund (the second fund). The fund is developed as part of the Sliabh Bawn Wind farm and supports projects whose work falls under recreation, tourism, health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and culture in the local area surrounding Sliabh Bawn Mountain. The total amount allocated for 2016 fund including 7 multi annual grants is €93,698. The list of successful applicants in 2016 is available on the project web-site.

As a new initiative, the project wishes to conduct a review of the Benefit Fund with local community members to evaluate its current set-up and see how it can better meet the needs of local communities. SECAD (the independent administrator of the fund) shall be running a process in Spring – Summer 2017 to conduct this review and explore the potential for increased community involvement in the annual evaluation of applications. Further details shall be made available in August 2017.

The project is expected to make a significant contribution to Ireland’s transition to a lower carbon society. Sliabh Bawn Power DAC will continue to seek opportunities to improve the sustainability profile of the project and the surrounding area. In doing so, we would be grateful to receive any ideas which community members may have in this regard.