November 30, 2016
ESB award Replacement Lands Forestry Contract to VEON
Veon has welcomed the news that its subsidiary FEL has been awarded the forestry contract for the ESB to identify, acquire, establish and manage replacement lands which the ESB is legally required to replant with forestry following windfarm construction.
Hugh Cawley, Director of Operations at Veon commenting on being awarded the new ten-year contract stated that “Windfarming has proved a win-win for all parties as forest replacement lands are generally of higher quality than those removed for windfarming purposes and consequently are more productive than those removed from the national forest estate. Furthermore it is also a legal requirement that the replacement forests must be at least 110% of the areas removed from the national estate thus further protecting and enhancing the forestry capacity within the industry and safeguarding raw material supply to downstream processors who are crucial in providing rural employment opportunities”.
Veon/FEL has been involved in delivering forest consultancy expertise previously in a number of ESB windfarm projects including Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary, Boolunagleragh, Co Clare, and Grousemount, Co Kerry.
For example the new ESB Castlepook project represents an overall investment of €64 million and has a capacity to produce electricity which will supply the equivalent of approximately 17,000 households annually. Located in the Ballyhoura Mountains in Co Cork, the 33.1 MW Castlepook Wind Farm was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in 2013 and comprises 14 Nordex wind turbines. The wind farm will connect to the existing electricity distribution system at Charleville via an underground 38kV cable that will be installed as part of the construction works.
A Community Benefit Scheme has been established for the Castlepook Wind Farm which has already supported the construction of additional bike trails within the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails. An annual community fund for local community projects and initiatives over the lifetime of the wind farm will also be established.
Veon is Ireland’s leading commercial forestry consultancy and the largest purchaser of commercial forestry plantations in the country and concluded the largest single forestry transaction in the history of the State in 2015.