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Gaelectric solar project turned down by Dublin council

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Chief executive: Eamonn McGrath

Chief executive: Eamonn McGrath

Chief executive: Eamonn McGrath

A green energy giant behind several large Northern Ireland wind farms has had a €7m (£6.4m) solar project planned for a 154-acre site in Dublin rejected by the council.

The authority said it would set an unwanted precedent and would materially contravene a zoning objective to preserve the rural landscape. The project is the latest from a number of solar energy firms to fall foul of local authorities around the Republic.

The planned Mainscourt scheme by Gaelectric would have cost €6.8m (£6.2m) to develop and nine months to build.

The renewable energy firm told Fingal County Council that the project would have generated up to 10MW of electricity, sufficient to power about 5,300 homes a year.

But despite extensive engagement with the local council and residents, Gaelectric's plans have been rejected.

"Due to its scale, and notwithstanding the mitigation measures proposed, the proposal would alter significantly the prevailing land use in the area, which is agriculture, and would represent an incongruous and dominant feature on the rural landscape," Fingal County Council said.

Gaelectric's chief executive is Eamonn McGrath.

The company is involved in a number of renewable energy projects throughout the island of Ireland.

Just last month Gaelectric opened two wind farms in Co Tyrone, built at a cost of £41m (€45m).

Belfast Telegraph