Mayo County Council has put forward a recommendation that the operators of a proposed wind farm contribute €10,000 per megawatt of power created to a community investment fund. However all Mayo County Council can do is make a propsal on the figure as the final decision on the ammount will be made by An Bord Planala. The proposed joint venture between ESB Wind Development and Bord na Mona at Owenwinny, Bellacorick is expected to cost in the region of €600 million to construct.
Mayo County Council had prepared a report on the project for the members to be discussed at Monday’s meeting. In the report Mayo County Council suggests a payment of €2,500 per megawatt, while the ESB and Bord na Mona had originally suggested a payment of around €1,000 megawatt. Cllr Michael Kilcoyne proposed that the council ask for the €10,000 per megawatt payment and it should be used to benefit all the county. He also said that because the final decision is down to An Bord Pleanala to make, the council should aim high.
The major infrastructure project will take in the region of six years to complete and all of the councillors were eager that the local community were behind the project and would benefit from it. Councillors Rose Conway Walsh and Gerry Coyle both put forward a view that local people should gain from the project seeing as they will the be the ones disturbed by the projects and both said that local employment from the project is something that should be part of the planning permission that will be granted.