Ireland Plans to Construct Giant Windfarm This Year

Ireland’s Minister for Natural Resources has announced plans for a £640 million offshore windfarm to be built in the Irish Sea.

DUBLIN, Ireland, IE , 2002-01-24 [SolarAccess.com] Frank Fahey signed a foreshore lease that will allow construction of the 520 MW facility, the world’s largest offshore windfarm. The lease applies to the seabed near the Arklow Bank, a sandbank 7 km off the coast of Arklow, and is the first to be awarded for wind energy on the Irish foreshore. The windfarm will be developed by Eirtricity, an Irish developer of renewable energy projects, and will generate 10 percent of Ireland’s electricity needs. Fahey says it should significantly reduce Ireland’s emissions of carbon dioxide gas. An application to build the windfarm was filed last summer by Eirtricity, to put the turbines on the sandbanks, with the nearest point 6 km from the east coast. The project will be built in four phases, with Phase 1 of 60 MW to be built this year and to create 500 jobs. The application was supported by the results of a year-long survey, highlighting the use of indigenous wind resources. “The social benefit of avoided pollution is in the region of £218 million. The avoided CO2 alone will be in the order of 1.1 million tons per year,” says Eddie O’Connor of Eirtricity. “A move towards green electricity generation is vital to the survival of our environment, to say nothing of the contribution to Ireland’s commitments under the Kyoto treaty.”
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