The Managing Director of renewable energy firm, Strategic Power Projects has said the concerns of a few should not stop national projects from happening.

Paul Carson has confirmed that Strategic Power Projects currently has renewable energy projects, made up of solar farms and battery storage energy schemes, granted planning permission with a combined value of €700 million to €750 million.

The firm's pipeline of projects includes the €140 million 212MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Dunnstown near Two Mile House in rural Co Kildare that was granted planning permission last October by An Bord Pleanála .

The appeals board granted planning permission despite strong local opposition that included an objection from a stud farm owned by US billionaire, John Malone.

A question mark now lies over the planning permission with a third party, 'Two Mile House Says No’ seeking a High Court judicial review of the An Bord Pleanála permission.

"These are projects of national significance, they need to be developed and the concerns of a few should not stop national projects from happening," said Mr Carson.

Mr Carson described High Court judicial review applications of An Bord Pleanála planning permissions as "stalling tactics, but the projects will be built".

He said delays to projects not only cost the developer but also the country in terms of missing renewable energy targets.

Mr Carson said that battery energy storage "is not the sole solution but is a big part of the solution addressing the country's security of supply".

"The whole basis for battery storage is to enable more renewable energy on the grid," he said,

"When the wind is blowing during the night and everyone is in bed and the factories are closed, where does that power go as there is a tremendous amount of energy from wind-farms wasted during the night for the last number of years.

"Battery storage can soak up that energy during the night and release it when needed at peak time in morning and evening."

Mr Carson said that "there is probably a need for another 20 Dunnstowns to ensure that the grid is well covered".

He added that there needs to be more alignment in the entire process.

The Dunnstown proposal was granted planning permission on October 3rd last and Mr Carson explained as grid connections can only be applied for with planning permission between September 1st and September 30th that has delayed the progress of the project by one year.

Mr Carson said that the structure of the process and the lack of resources for the likes of An Bord Pleanála "is keeping the industry back".

He said that there has been a sea change in public opinion supporting renewable energy projects.

"We have over 300MW of solar approved with not one objection across three projects," he claimed.

Mr Carson said that third party appeals to An Bord Pleanála are very unfair in the system without having good grounds.

He said that the firm's average €500,000 spend in advancing solar farm proposals through the planning systems "shows how thorough we are".

- reporting Gordon Deegan