Application for €30m Clare wind farm

Electric Ireland has lodged plans for a large €30 million wind farm at its Moneypoint power station in Co Clare, where the turbines will be more than 30m (100 ft) taller than Dublin’s Spire.

The five turbines, at 154m (506ft), will also be more than twice the height of Dublin’s Liberty Hall, but will be lower than the two 228m (750ft) chimney stacks at the 915MW coal-burning station. Moneypoint is the largest electricity-generating station in the Republic, located on the Shannon estuary in west Clare.

The wind farm is part of Electric Ireland’s plans to deliver a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, which will include more than 1,400MW of wind generation.

It will also bring to more than 140 the number of turbines approved or applied for in west Clare. The west Clare community of Doonbeg is split over plans for a €200 million 45-turbine wind farm by private firm West Coastal Wind Power Ltd. According to the applicant for the Moneypoint plan, ESB Wind Developments Ltd, the wind farm will produce 45 million units of electricity per annum.

Electric Ireland, formerly the ESB, did secure planning permission for a 110m (360ft) nine-turbine wind farm at Moneypoint 10 years ago, but never proceeded with the project. This was because of the five-year retro-fit project at the station to reduce emissions.

The 250-page environmental impact statement states “the wind farm will have no impact on the operation of Moneypoint or levels of employment there”, where 235 people are employed.

Electric Ireland said the increase in turbine height at Moneypoint is because “larger turbines are proposed than previously and this reflects trends both nationally and internationally where advances in technology have led to larger but fewer turbines being recognised as the preferred arrangement”.

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