Permission Granted For New €500m Gas-Fired Generator In The Midlands

That's despite over 60 objections from members of the public.

Planning permission has been granted for a new €500 million gas-fired generator in Westmeath.

That's despite over 60 objections from members of the public.

Lumclon Energy first lodged plans for the 275 megawatt generator in Rochfortbridge last September.

It proposed building the generator on a 50 acre site at Kiltotan/Collinstown/Oldtown beside the M6 motorway, to help boost the national energy grid. 

However, the plans attracted plenty of opposition from local residents.

Included in the 73 submissions made to Westmeath County Council were concerns over the natural environment, the road network, a lack of consultation with locals, and the development of a new non-renewable, gas plant in the midst of a climate emergency.

However, the council also received correspondence from Commission of Regulation of Utilities which quoted the EPA, the government's National Development Plan and its Climate Action Plan in stating that gas is required in the years ahead to secure Ireland's electricity network as we transition to more renewable energy sources.

The local authority has now granted planning permission for a period of 10 years and Lumcloon expects construction to take between 18 and 24 months.

400 jobs are to be created during the construction phase, followed by 25 permanent positions.

The company has already has battery storage facilities in Cloghan and Shannonbridge in Co. Offaly.

The full development will consist of...

- Five open cycle gas turbine modules (each module being c 1042 sqm) and complete with lube oil coolers, generators, air intake vents, continuous emissions monitoring technology, selective catalytic reduction units and c. 30m high stacks. 

- A two-storey administration building (32.615m long x 13m wide x 9.33m high), which will contain a control room, offices, storage meeting room workshop and double height warehouse.

- Two 2,400m3 capacity bunded secondary fuel storage tanks (each with a diameter of 17.6m and height of 10m).

- A fenced 'above ground installation' compound containing gas pipework, a regulator house enclosure, instrument kiosk, boiler house enclosure and analyzer kiosk.

- A fuel pump and filter unit.

- A containerised water treatment module (12.192m long x 2.438m wide x 2.896m high).

- A 10m3 purified water storage tank (2.75mm high and 2.27m diameter).

- Two containerised black start diesel generators (2.438m x 12.192m long x 2.896m high) with integrated stacks (4.755m high).

- A 50m3 ammonia storage tank (9.360m high and 3.16m diameter).

- A Fire pump skid building (9.23m long x 6.98m wide x 4.6m high).

- A 500m3 capacity water tank (7.597m high x 10m diameter).

- A single storey IPP building (20m long x 10m wide and 6.853m high).

- A low voltage (LV) bunded house transformer (1.914m high), 

- Five medium voltage bunded step-up transformers (6.287 m high) and high voltage (HV) customer compound containing two bunded transformers (9m high) connected to electrical equipment.

- An air compressor building (8.33m long x 4.73m wide x 4.517m high).

- All ancillary development including new access road, internal roads, 2.65m high fencing and gates securing the main reserve generator site.

The development also includes construction of a new entrance to the site from the R446 with associated signage and an access road from the new entrance to the generator. 

An existing farm shed, farm workshop, feed silo and a silage clamp will also be demolished and removed.

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