On the 5th of November, Kerry County Council Councillors voted through the 8th Variation to the 2009-2015 County Development Plan, a Renewable Energy Strategy which can be accessed here. In particular, Section 5 of the Renewable Energy Strategy on Wind Energy, proposes exclusion of wind development from the county’s natural heritage designations. This includes the Stacks to Mullaghareirk Mountains, West Limerick Hills and Mount Eagle Special Protection Area (SPA).
This will have repercussions on the future of the wind energy industry in Kerry, the third largest county in installed MW; and a county that has seen great benefits in terms of investment, jobs and rates. This action will also set precedence in place which could in turn affect other local authorities around the country. The reports to date also leave significant question marks around the re-powering of wind farms currently operational within the SPA.