Working with communities to deliver essential renewable energy projects
MKO is delighted to draw on decades of community engagement experience to offer wind energy project developers a full suite of Project Communications offerings. We specialise in community consultation, event management, media management and political engagement. Our experience empowers us to understand a project’s challenges, audiences, and objectives. Our focus is on maximising support while minimising objections. By engaging with the local community from the very outset, we can provide an understanding of what issues may arise, who the project’s supporters and advocates may be, how conflict can be resolved, and how best to deliver essential updates about the project to the people who need to hear them. Good communications require thorough planning and early and consistent engagement. At MKO, we can manage a project’s communications requirements or offer support in areas where additional help may be needed.
The Irish Government has committed to ensuring that by 2030 at least 80% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. To deliver on this commitment, communities across Ireland will facilitate the delivery of these essential renewable energy projects.
To deliver on the good practice principles set out in the Community Benefit Fund Good Practice Principles Handbook drafted by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, well-thought-out project communication strategies are essential to ensure these renewable projects are delivered with the community at its heart. Ireland’s ongoing energy crisis means projects must be delivered quickly and with minimum disruption. For this to happen, a two-way dialogue is essential between the developer and the receiving community.
Working with clients and communities
Community consultation is often a requirement of the planning process. However, unveiling a project to the local community can carry some risks if engagement is not planned and carefully approached. MKO’s approach to community engagement is to ensure it is inclusive and informative and creates a platform for meaningful feedback that continues for the project. Our experience, enhanced by our digital capabilities, safeguard the successful delivery of essential projects.
An integral part of delivering renewable energy projects is the Community Benefit Fund which enables communities to support sustainable initiatives in their local areas and decide for themselves what worthy local causes need support. These funds predominantly benefit rural areas, which ensures that those communities facilitating our transition to a greener energy system receive the greatest benefit. As Ireland’s largest planning and environmental consultancy, MKO supports all aspects of developing renewable energy projects.