Wind farm goes to court over grid connection works

By Ann O'Loughlin

A wind-farm company has gone to court in a bid to ensure it can connect to the national grid.

Derrysallagh Windfarm has to hook up to the grid by December next year but it claims threatened litigation by a farmer over the running of cables under a public road near his lands could cause delays. The wind farm will have twelve turbines.

The grid connection works between Derrysallagh Windfarm in Knockroe, Derrysallagh, Co Sligo and the substation in Garvaghy, Co Leitrim involves placing cable under the existing public road through various townlands including the lands of Thomas Lavin of Derreenavoggy, Arigna, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon.

Derrysallagh Windfarm Ltd is seeking a declaration that the Roscommon farmer who has threatened litigation over the matter has no right or title in the lands under the public road such as would disentitle the wind farm from carrying out grid connection works.

Today, Mr Justice Robert Haughton admitted the case to the fast-track Commerical Court list.

Project manager of Derrysallagh Windfarm Ltd Denis Calnan, in an affidavit, said should the grid connection works not be completed at all then the wind-farm company will have incurred in excess of €50million in capital expenditure without any return.

Mr Lavin, he said, is the owner of lands adjoining the route of the grid connection of the wind farm. Mr Lavin claims to own land underneath the public road where the windfarm laid ducting to the grid connection between November 2016 and May 2017.

The wind-farm company intends to recommence the grid connection works once final planning consents are obtained, Mr Calnan said.

He added the grid connection works must be complete by the end of December 2019.

Given that Mr Lavin, he claimed, is refusing to withdraw his threat to institute proceedings in respect of his alleged entitlement, the wind-farm company wished the issues to be determined as soon as possible. Any proceedings Mr Calnan said could take at least nine months to resolve and given the time it will take to complete the grid connection works Derrysallagh Windfarm Ltd needs to take steps to ensure a determination of the claim as soon as possible.

The wind farm was granted planning permission in April 2013 and a later appeal was withdrawn.

The court heard Mr Lavin was objecting to the admission of the case to the Commercial Court list. The case will come back before the court in October.

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