Last night, one of the largest groups of local neighbours and friends seen for some time, assembled in Fitzpatrick Hotel to update their knowledge of Windfarms and participate in a Q&A with the experts. Organised by Dalkey Community Council and Killiney Bay Community Council, the meeting was chaired by Dr Susan McDonnell of DCC. The expert speakers were Marie Louis Heffernan, Chartered Environmental Scientist, and Dr Michael O’Meara of Blue Horizons.
Marie Louis Heffernan used a graphic presentation to highlight the extensive wildlife along our coastline and the unique populations and sensitive habitats located here. She also highlighted the critical ecological role played by the Kish, Codling and other sandbanks. Dr O’Meara updated all on how recent significant technology changes have transformed the options open for the safe development of Windfarms. While nearshore sandbanks with depths of 20m appeared to be the best construction option by some in the past, turbines can now be placed in waters of 70m. With masts as high as 320m, this has encouraged other European countries, for obvious reasons, to site them further offshore and has also transformed the options open to developers.
The Q&A session highlighted how almost all present accepted the enormous benefits and urgent necessity of having wind energy available to Ireland and the urgent need to take advantage of this. However, few appeared to be aware that the enormous turbine structures being constructed can now be located far offshore in depths of 70m, greatly reducing both visual and ecological damage – a critical point for Governments and Planning Authorities.
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