It is proposed to put a large offshore wind farm in Dublin Bay – see below for details in relation to same. This could have major benefits and it could have serious adverse effects in respect of views of Dublin Bay. The photomontages for the windfarm, together with the EIS, are on display until the 1st of June only at: Public Libraries in Howth & Dun Laoghaire; Garda Stations in Bray & Greystones & at the RDS, Anglesea Road, Hall 10A (10am-4pm Tuesday-Friday; 10am-3pm Saturday).
Public Consultation Period: 9th April – 1st June 2013
- A private company has lodged an application with the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government for a Foreshore Lease to construct a large scale wind farm (“Dublin Array”) on the Kish & Bray Banks, 10 km off the coast of Dublin & Wicklow. The application proposes construction of 145 turbines, each up to 160 m from sea level to blade tip, five times higher than the Kish Lighthouse (31m). It will be visible all around the coast and from significant viewpoints inland.
- The developers’ Non-Technical Summary states that the electricity generated may be sold to Irish consumers. Alternatively, it may be connected directly to the UK to help that country meet its renewable energy targets.
- As legally required, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared on behalf of the developers and lodged with the application. The EIS was made available for public consultation from 9th April to 1st June 2013. Final date for submissions: 11th June 2013.
- There is virtually no public awareness of the application, the EIS or the public consultation.
- The proposed development, covering an area of 54 km2, would have substantial environmental impacts.
- With regard to landscape impacts, the construction of 145 huge turbines, 10 km off the coast will significantly alter the character and quality of coastal landscapes from Howth to South Wicklow. The developers’ EIS assesses visual impact from 22 viewpoints and predicts significant adverse impacts for 16 of these. They are Howth, Clontarf, Sutton, Bull Island, Poolbeg/Ringsend, Sandymount, Dalkey, Killiney, Bray, Greystones, Newcastle, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the N11 at Kilmullin, Carrickgollogan Hill (overlooking Shankill) & Wicklow town.
- “Adverse Major” Visual Impacts are predicted by the developer for Bray Head, Killiney Hill, Vico Road and Howth Head, nationally important scenic areas. These effects, listed in the EIS, give some idea of the immense visual impact the Dublin Array offshore wind farm would have on the entire coast from Howth to South Wicklow.
- The Kish and Bray Banks are shallow sandbanks, an important habitat listed for protection under the EU Habitats Directive. Some degradation of these banks is inevitable, given the scale of the proposed development. The EIS acknowledges disturbance of wildlife, including the harbour porpoise, a protected species, commonly seen in Dublin Bay. Information on a wide range of potential impacts is given in the EIS.
- The EIS is available online, without photomontages, at www.dublinarray.com
- It may be viewed, with photomontages, at five locations around the coast: Public Libraries in Howth & Dun Laoghaire; Garda Stations in Bray & Greystones & at the RDS, Anglesea Road, Hall 10A (10am-4pm Tuesday-Friday; 10am-3pm Saturday).
This current period for consultation is the only opportunity afforded to the public to influence the proposed construction of a major industrial development in Dublin Bay.