Library from Ireland
Judicial review sought over concerns about impact of proposed 11-turbine development
The report estimates tens of millions are lost every year by wind farms because of 'dispatch down', a technical term which refers to what happens when EirGrid, as the transmission system operator, turns off or reduces the amount of power a wind farm can produce for grid stability reasons.
Fire crews from two stations are this evening battling a major blaze which swept through a wind farm, forestry and bogland in Co. Clare.
The Kellehers claimed they started experiencing health problems in and around their family farm from May 2016 and had to move out of their home in November 2016. ...They claimed their symptoms eased after they moved away but returned if they spent any time attending at or assisting on the family farm. The defendants denied the claims, denied any breach of constitutional rights and said the wind farm was operated in a lawful manner.
These sanctions, amounting to €105,000 every week, will not be lifted until the ESB completes a retrospective environmental impact assessment at the development. The ECJ ruling said the breaches of environmental standards were a matter of "indisputable seriousness". The court said the Irish response had been delayed, insufficient and unjustified.
The meeting in Mountmellick heard concerns about the height of the turbines, the noise they make and the flicker effect on nearby dwellings. Health and safety of the people in the surrounding areas was also high on the agenda. A number of people said the company did not consult widely and that a booklet distributed to some residents contained information “not conveying the true state of serious side effects from such monstrosities”.
The 70-turbine wind farm, owned by Gort Windfarms, a company owned by ESB, was built in the Slieve Aughty Mountains between Gort and Loughrea, Co Galway in 2003 without proper environmental impact assessment. A landslide occurred during construction which caused major damage and is thought to have contributed to severe flooding the following year.
“Evidence to date has clearly shown that the measures proposed will simply not protect families from the negative health impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines. They will condemn families to unnecessary lifelong misery, resulting in a massive waste of people’s time, energy, community money and a clogging of the courts. Communities will not stop fighting this injustice; these guidelines are unacceptable."
Kildare County Council has refused planning permission to Statkraft Ireland Ltd to build Drehid Wind Farm. The decision was announced on December 19 2019.
Noise from wind energy developments will now be subject to a limit of five decibels above existing background noise up to a maximum permitted noise limit of 43 decibels, day or night. This is a tightening of the 2006 noise standards in line with the most up-to-date, best international standards.
The Irish Wind Energy Association has criticised proposed new rules for onshore wind farm development, claiming it will be "more difficult and more expensive" to construct projects under the plans. The rules would see new standards for noise, mandatory community consultations, a minimum setback distance of 500 metres from any residential property in the vicinity of a new development, and other measures.
On Friday, Mr Justice Simons said the developer was precluded by law from re-agitating the argument that the as built turbines are authorised by a 2011 planning permission. The developer had a full opportunity to make its case before the board and it did not challenge the decision they were not exempt under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, he said. The developer could not, therefore, reopen the board’s findings in the High Court proceedings.
The wind farm was regarded as one of the largest in the EU when a landslide occurred during its construction in October 2003 by an ESB subsidiary, Hibernian Wind Power. At the time, large areas of forest and peat up to a depth of 5.5 metres on the top of the Cashlaundrumlahan mountain had been removed, causing the 2km-long “environmentally devastating” slide. Fish were killed and waterways polluted when half a million tonnes of peat and debris was displaced.
People are just looking at the map and saying, ‘oh my god, this is where I fish,’ so there’s a sense of panic. “We only heard about this when the applications were lodged,” Ms McIntyre said. “You must understand how huge this was: it was a complete and utter shock. It’s only in the last few weeks that people are realising how big these are going to be. The biggest wind turbines in the world.”
Large swathes of Offaly countryside are part of a 30-year plan for wind energy production coming before Offaly County Council in the next few weeks.
The most common grounds for complaint in Germany is the protection of birds and bats, which can be endangered by wind turbines. Procedural mistakes, monument protection, noise pollution, health effects and the effects on the local landscape are other common reasons why wind farms are objected to in the EU's largest country. "It is worrying when you think how urgent the need to expand renewable energy is," says Canning. Yet there are many people around Europe who passionately disagree with him.
The new generation of giant offshore wind turbines will challenge public attitudes and test political commitment to renewable energy. Turbines currently under testing are up to three times the height of the Statue of Liberty and nearly four times taller than the 70 metre turbines in Ireland's only offshore wind farm near Arklow.
Should the development be given the go-ahead residents would be left in a situation where they have windmills surrounding them on three sides in a horseshoe shape resulting in “intolerable noise.” As well as the noise, which is already an issue from the existing turbines when the wind blows from the east, there are also concerns in relation to infra sound and low frequency noise; the visual impact; shadow flicker and the devaluation to properties, in some cases making them unsellable.
Coillte says proposal for 10 ‘giant’ turbines on Sligo/Leitrim border is based on new guidelines
those in authority in the EC deemed the situation unacceptable and they began to place more focus on the wind farm, which was located at a site that was at the heart of the landslide. The EC said the situation could not continue and it focused on the wind farm and the difficulties that arose around that. “We don’t believe that the wind farm developers even considered flooding when environmental impact assessments were carried out,” Murray added.