Creating Projects that are Good for Local Communities

Community Engagement and Benefit

At Coillte Renewable Energy, we aim to build responsible projects that are good for us, for society and positively benefit our neighbours. We do this through managing the design and development in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders for results supported by both.

Our engagement objectives range from building relationships and trust, to creating an environment around our developments where we will be openly and warmly welcomed back in the future by stakeholders and communities alike.

What is a Community Benefit Fund? And how does it work?

Each Coillte renewable energy project has a Community Benefit Fund attached.  These funds are established and managed to benefit the local community in the areas of;

Recreation

Health and Wellbeing

Culture and Heritage

Environmental Sustainability

Tourism

The fund is available to community and voluntary groups, non-profit groups or organisations with a charitable status.

Coillte renewable energy projects have consistently provided a Community Benefit Fund (CBF), whether we have had governmental support or have been financed via other means.   However, a CBF now forms part of the Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).  It is a requirement of any development under the scheme to provide a fund that will benefit the local community.

What is a Community Benefit Fund?  And how does it work?

Estimated Project Development Time

Apr 2019

Community and Stakeholder Engagement process is ongoing, Shane recruited as CLO.

May 2019

Environmental Impact Assessment baseline studies begin.

Oct 2019

Iterative design process commences using feedback from Environmental studies including grid route. Draft layouts shared with nearest neighbours.

Jan 2020

On going community engagement with project team, technical experts and near neighbours throughout January and February.

Feb 2020

On going community engagement with project team, technical experts and near neighbours throughout January and February.

Mar 2020

• Preparing Project Update newsletter and 2nd design iteration layouts.
• Workshop with nearest neighbours postponed due to Covid-19 Public Health restrictions.
• All project updates and communications posted on website.

Apr 2020

• Ongoing EIA studies, surveys and site investigations with emphasis on geology.

• Project updates provided through alternative means of engagement available to our nearest neighbours.

May 2020

• Preparing Project Update newsletter and 3rd design iteration layouts.
• Ongoing on-site EIAR survey investigations coming to a conclusion.
• Ongoing engagement with nearest neighbours through alternative means available as required.

Jun 2020

• Ongoing engagement with nearest neighbours through alternative means available.

Nov 2020

• EIAR and Planning documentation being finalised.

Jan 2021

• Planning Application submitted to Carlow County Council - 15th January 2021