Location of new biomass plant causes debate in ROI

A proposed biomass plant in Killarney, Republic of Ireland that would provide a district heating system has drawn ‘reservations’ from local residents.

Killarney Renewables (KR) has lodged a planning application for the plant but home owners close to the chosen site, which is the centre of town, claim the development would be unsuitable for the predominantly residential area.

The area is currently zoned for light industry only and concerns have also been voiced that the 17 metres high plant would fall outside of that description.

‘Everyone agrees in principle to having a ‘green’ heating system in Killarney, but definitely on at this particular site. People should not be expected to live close to something like that,’ says town councillor Niall O’Callaghan.

‘We spent nearly 18 months trying to procure a site and it was not possible to get one from the council. We looked at every possible site and this was the only one we could secure a deal on," says principle KR backer Con McCarthy. ‘If we had to lay pipes from an outside site, the project wouldn’t be viable.’

Killarney Town Council has given principle backing to the project, which would provide a communal system of renewable heat and electricity via locally-sourced woodchip. KR claims 20 permanent jobs would be created upon completion of the plant and around 5,000 homes and businesses would benefit from it.

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