herald

Sunday 21 December 2014

145 wind turbines to rise from Dublin Bay in €2bn plan

DUBLIN Bay could soon be home to 145 wind turbines as part of a €2bn plan.

The proposal would see 100m turbines being built 10km from the coastline.

If given the go-ahead, renewable power firm Saorgus Energy would begin construction on the Kish and Bray Banks within five years.

The wind farm would generate enough electricity to meet the demands of 450,000 homes, as well as creating 850 jobs.

The majority of the energy produced would most likely be exported, the company said.

Saorgus, a Kerry-based Irish-owned firm, has produced an environmental impact statement (EIS) that can be viewed at locations in Dublin and Wicklow.

While he had been aware of the proposals, Fianna Fail councillor Cormac Devlin said he was surprised the plans were so advanced.

"I've not seen the plans. I'm eager to see them to see what kind of restriction, if any, it would have on the bay," Mr Devlin said.

"I would encourage as many residents and residents' associations to either visit the plans in the local libraries or go online to www.dublinarray.com to view the proposal."

Energy companies have long recognised Dublin Bay's potential. Providence Resources wants to drill for oil at the Kish Basin, near Dalkey Island, though its application was recently withdrawn.

Saorgus has yet to decide on the number of turbines, but it could be as many as 145.

 

Structures

The structures would be visible from land but, because of the 10km distance, would not be as obtrusive as elsewhere.

In a letter last week, Saorgus officially notified Dun Laoghaire county manager Owen Keegan of the consultation period of April 9 to June 1.

The display of the EIS forms part of an application for the necessary foreshore leases to carry out the work.

Some 55 offshore wind farms are operational in Europe, with many more currently in development.

Saorgus director Aidan Forde said: "Ireland's offshore wind resources are under-developed, despite the fact that we have one of the best wind resources in the world."

The plans are on display at the public libraries in Dun Laoghaire and Howth, as well as the garda stations in Bray and Greystones.

comurphy@herald.ie

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