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    Wind turbines are going even higher

    June 20, 2022 - Concubhar Ó Liatháin


      A PROPOSED new wind farm which will be one of several in the Múscraí Gaeltacht will have turbines which will be at least as tall as the wind mills proposed for the slopes above Gougane Barra.

      A sketch published in The Corkman last week showed how the turbines proposed for Gougane, at 178.5m from ground to the blade tip at its highest point.

      A new windfarm proposed to be located at Gort Uí Rathaille, half way between Cúil Aodha and Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh, both communities being virtually ringed by wind energy facilities, will have turbines which will be at least 179m high but could be up to 185m from ground to blade tip.

      This is according to can information booklet issued and distributed last week by the projects backers, SSE Renewables and FuturEnergy as part of its ongoing consultation process with the local communities in the surrounding area.

      The booklet contains a detailed overview of all aspects of the proposed development which will comprise of 14 turbines which, the backers believe, will generate at least 5.6 megawatts (MW) and up to 6.6 MW. The partnership is aiming to provide up to 1 giga watt of renewable electricity yearly by 2030 and this proposed windfarm could provide between 78.4 and 92.4 MW on an annual basis.

      As well as measuring up to 185m from ground level to highest tip altitude, the turbines will have a rotor diameter between 149-155 metres.

      The local community is also being advised that the project envisages ‘improvements’ to the local road network to ‘facilitate delivery of abnormal loads and turbine delivery of the turbines.

      During the construction of Grousemount windfarm, which comprised 38 turbines which at 126m are substantially shorter than the turbines proposed for this site, roads were hit by traffic delays which lasted up to two years. This was one of the main factors which led to frustration and anger among local people. At one stage there were more than four sets of traffic lights between Cúil Aodha and Baile Mhúirne.

      In the coming weeks a Community Webinar is to be held to allow representatives of the project to answer questions from locals. A community engagement clinic is also due to be held. Dates and venues or access details for both events have yet to be confirmed.

      FuturEnergy and SSE Renewables are proposing to complete their planning application and submit it to An Bórd Pleanála during the Summer of 2022, according to the document circulated in the locality.

      Because of the size of the proposed development, it is bypassing Cork County Council as it is considered a strategic development.

      Wind farm developments in the locality have proven to be very contentious over the past number of years. Public meetings over Grousemount were very heated affairs at times and two local wind farm developments at least have ended up in court proceedings. The Cleanrath development ended up in the Supreme Court.


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