Articles from Ireland
A woman whose farm was damaged by a massive bogslide which occurred during the construction of the Republic's largest wind farm has secured €341,830 damages at the High Court. Mr Justice Eamon de Valera made the award yesterday to Mary Curley, whose family have farmed 16 acres at Derrybrien, Gort, Co Galway, for three generations.
A proposed wind farm on a Co Leitrim mountain comprising mainly blanket bog, has been turned down by an Bord Pleanála because of the risk of "slope instability" and surface pollution. The board pointed out that the proposed site for the eight-turbine development on Dough mountain, five kilometres from Manorhamilton, was in a Natural Heritage Area.
Small wind farm projects say they are being forced to go abroad for finance as they are being refused loans by Irish banks who say they can't access funding due to Irish banking's poor international image. "The Irish co-ops are being told by the Irish banks that they just can't access the money from abroad; that trust has been lost," said an IWEA source.
Despite claims by a Cavan-based company that there is "little opposition" to plans to place a windfarm in the Gaybrook area of Mullingar, a number of residents were set to meet in Mullingar this week amid concerns over the proposed development. At the time of writing, the residents were due to meet at the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar to discuss a host of concerns, ranging from health issues, to impact on the landscape and local property prices.
The NI Planning Service has still made no decision on an application by a Co Antrim manufacturer to construct a massive wind turbine at its Roughfort Road headquarters. People living near Mallusk plastics company Brett Martin have objected to the firm's plan, raising concerns about the sheer scale of the proposal.
A handful of US infrastructure funds are understood to be in the final shake-out to buy wind farm assets being sold by SWS, the Cork-based energy and business services group. The potential suitors are vying to acquire SWS's 180 megawatts of operating wind farm assets around the island of Ireland. Bidding for these assets is believed to be running north of €400m, including the assumption of debt attached to the projects.
A wind turbine company is being sued by a farming community in Kerry one year after a bog slide - which has still not been cleared - blocked access to their land. Residents of Lyrecrompane in the Stack mountains have insisted that the wind farm - currently being developed by Tralee-based Tra Investments - is to blame for last August's bog slide.
The third wet summer in succession - rainfall for July alone was more than three times above normal in parts of Munster and Leinster - again sparks fears of landslides. We've had several examples in recent years of unexpected slippages which are sometimes described as ‘Ireland's greatest natural hazards', given that we don't have even more devastating phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Landslides are on the increase due mainly to climate change and man's activities, including wind farm construction.
Dr Nina Pierpoint has warned that living too close to wind turbines can cause heart disease, tinnitus, vertigo, panic attacks, migraines and sleep deprivation in groundbreaking research due to be published later this year. ...To date, the Government and wind companies have denied any health risks associated with powerful noise and vibration produced by wind turbines.
A second public inquiry into the proposed Den Brook wind farm gets under way on Thursday. It is understood the outcome could affect the future of wind farms across the UK. ...The crux of the campaigners' case is that data supplied by RES shows the company has significantly underestimated the effect of atmospheric conditions on the levels of noise likely to be produced. The group is also making submissions on the landscape.
Last week the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) called for a halt on a proposed €30bn spend on the national energy infrastructure so that a proper assessment of future energy needs as well as the economic benefit of the massive investment in renewable power could be addressed. ...Plans are now afoot to deliver up to 7,800 MW of wind power on the island of Ireland, with a mixture of onshore and offshore projects in the pipeline. It may well help reduce our carbon emissions, but at what cost?
The board overturned the decision after the granting of planning was recommended by An Bord Pleanala's own inspector who recommended the development go ahead with 21 conditions. The inspector gave the go-ahead because of the general suitability of the site for wind power electricity generation, the absence of amenity or conservation designations and the distance from existing housing.
A dispute over an alleged agreement for a €135 million wind farm in Co Cork has come before the Commercial Court. Denis Cremins claims SWS Energy Ltd is in breach of a joint venture agreement (JVA) with him for the construction of a 29-turbine wind farm at Knockacummer, and is seeking orders restraining the development unless all conditions attached to it are fully complied with.
A proposed wind farm at Drumsurn in County Londonderry has split the community, Limavady's mayor has said. Gaeletric want to erect seven turbines at Smulgedon due to the wind speeds. ...The town's Mayor, Brenda Chivers of Sinn Fein, said: "We're hoping to get all the parties around a table and solve this."
The developer of one of the most ambitious wind farm developments in Ireland has expressed frustration at the planning process for renewable energy projects. Brian Britton is co-founder and managing director of Oriel Windfarm, which hopes to build an offshore wind farm with 55 turbines off the north-east coast close to Dundalk. The project has been under development for four years and is at the final stage of the planning process.
Developers who consistently abuse the planning system could be banned from building in Ireland, under legislation being drafted by the minister for the environment. ...The ban on planning retention for developments requiring an EIA was prompted by a judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last July. ...The judgment related to a wind farm at Derrybrien, Co Galway, where the construction of a service road caused a landslide on a blanket bog.
The EU Environment Commission is to investigate a windfarm development in the Stacks mountains which was at the centre of concerns after a bog slide during heaving rainfall in August. ...Local residents in the Stacks mountains wrote to environment commissioner Stavros Dimas in October to say they were deeply concerned with the manner in which the windfarm at Ballincollig Hill, near Tralee, was being constructed on sensitive bog and to ask that work - which resumed recently - be stopped. The residents said "large tracts of beautiful boglands and rivers" had being damaged in the slide and the nest of a hen harrier, hares and other wildlife disturbed.
Following on from last weeks landslide which is thought to have been caused as a result of work that is being carried out on a wind farm site, Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's Matt Nolan has reported that to date 2,000 small fish have been removed from the Owengar River. ...Having visited the site, Dromahair based Green Party member, Johnny Gogan believes that "it appears that the bogslide resulted from a heavy build up of excavated material on Corrie mountain related to the construction of an access road to the intended wind-farm. Such a liability should have been detected by an effective Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
A bogslide which threatened one of the country's premier fishing lakes appeared to have come to a halt yesterday. For the third consecutive night, geotechnical experts and wind farm and forestry staff remained at the scene of a potential environmental disaster. ...The slide began on Tuesday afternoon during the construction of a road to the Garvagh Glebe North wind farm, a joint project between Coillte and Hibernian Wind Power, a subsidiary of the ESB.
Locals in north Kerry are up in arms at the alleged role of a wind energy firm in the landslide that destroyed a river's salmon and trout stocks. Before the facts of what caused last week's landslide in a north Kerry river network were known, a nearby wind energy firm taking the brunt of the local anger. Prior to the landslide, Tralee-based company Tra Investments had begun site works for an eight-turbine wind farm in the Ballincollig Hill-Maghanknockane area. Within 24 hours of the slide, the company announced that it would commission an independent review into the incident, which it promised to make public.