18 Aug 2022

€200,000 funding to progress Callan Community Solar Park

€200,000 funding to progress Callan Community Solar Park

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Funding of €200,000 has been awarded to Ballytobin Solar Ltd for the development of Callan Community Solar Park under the LEADER Programme, Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has confirmed.

The allocation is part of a €268,371 package for rural development projects in Kilkenny, awarded by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Funding for the Callan project will be used to build the new solar park, purchase equipment, marketing, training and pay for costs relating to connecting the park with the national grid, Deputy Phelan said.

A number of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership projects aimed at developing rural towns and providing basic services for hard-to-reach communities were approved funding under the latest allocation:

·        SEROI (Social & Economic Return on Investment)+Central Trainer initiative– funding of €16,628 to engage a trainer to provide overall coordination support for this co-operation project in all partner Local Action Group (LAG) areas and to provide recommendations on a training framework which can be piloted in LAG regions across Europe.

·         SEROI+ Ireland Training Coordinator – funding of €14,968.57 towards engaging a trainer to coordinate project actions in each LAG territory and engage with communities/stakeholders in each local area.

·         SEROI+ Tool Calculator Cooperation Analysis & Development - €5,625 towards the SEROI planning and evaluation tool on the overall value and return on investments to a community.

This co-operation project will implement a programme of training supports to communities and stakeholders in the LAG focused on developing an SEROI+ methodology in relation to the LEADER programme to support the EU's evolving Smart Village concept, which will lead to the development of the SEROI+ Smart Village model. 

 ·         An additional €7,078.50 was approved under the Rural Towns initiative, towards developing a SMART Village Training Curriculum Cooperation Project targeted at rural communities.

·         Funding of  €24,071 was approved to deliver a Smart Villages Training Programme to communities in rural areas in Kilkenny.    

“This funding will support locally-led projects which focus on empowering local communities, embracing new opportunities in the green economy, supporting remote working and the digital transformation of rural areas across Kilkenny”, Deputy Phelan concluded.

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