Northern Ireland-based B9 Energy Services and Renewable Energy Systems gained full planning approval for their 13 turbine Callagheen wind farm in north west Fermanagh on appeal.Fermanagh, Northern Ireland – April 28, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The project is being developed in response to Government plans to introduce a Renewables Obligation into Northern Ireland to stimulate the growth of non-polluting sources of energy like wind power. It is expected that the project will not be built until the start of the Renewables Obligation, proposed for April 2005. The Planning Appeal Commission recognized that the benefits of wind energy should be taken into account in considering the overall acceptability of any project. For the Callagheen wind farm, the Commission concluded that “the significant contribution to installed renewable energy capacity and towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions” outweighed the visual impacts associated with the project. The decision notice from the Planning Appeals Commission also noted, “The Commission finds none of the reasons for refusal to be sustained and none of the other objections put forward to be of such significance as to warrant withholding planning permission.” “We welcome that the Commission has confirmed the importance of taking account of the environmental benefits of renewable energy in planning decisions,” said Michael Harper of B9 Energy Services. “This is a very strong message which will reinforce the Government’s drive to develop 12% of Northern Ireland’s electricity from renewables. B9 Energy has successfully developed six wind energy projects in Northern Ireland at Rigged Hill and Altahullion (both Co. Londonderry), Corkey, Slievenahanaghan and Elliott’s Hill (all in Co. Antrim) and Lendrum’s Bridge (Co. Tyrone), and three in the Republic of Ireland at Cark (Co. Donegal), Beenageeha (Co. Kerry) and Milane Hill (Co. Cork). Since 1980, Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has developed, designed and constructed projects in England, Wales, Scotland, France, Portugal, Jamaica and USA, successfully completing over 775 MW of wind energy projects to date.