Are there any proposed offshore wind energy projects planned for near your coastline which your community could engage with?
Ireland has many offshore projects at planning stage with one operational facility off the coast of Arklow. The majority of the resource will only be accessible from around 2015, when the technology has developed enough to be placed in deeper water.
The technology for offshore wind has been largely based on onshore wind, but adapted to be fixed to the seabed and to withstand the tough environmental conditions out at sea. As the terrain is flat and there are no obstacles, offshore wind turbines are larger, with a larger swept area relative to the tower size than onshore. Offshore wind farms are much more commercial than the other offshore renewable technologies but the technology is still being developed to access resources in deeper water, for example the development of floating wind turbines.
Offshore wind farms are generally several hundred MWs. They are large, multi- million euro, industrial projects and not suitable as community projects.
However, the developers of offshore wind farms are keen to engage the coastal communities and as an individual or as a group you can lend your active support for these projects through attending public exhibitions.