Pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted for £500m tidal farm

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Business Advisory - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

A £500M re­new­able en­ergy project in Co Antrim has taken an­other step for­ward af­ter it sub­mit­ted plans to in­stall tidal tur­bines.

Cork-based DP En­ergy says work off the coast of Bal­ly­cas­tle could be­gin in 2018.

The re­new­able en­ergy firm be­hind pro­pos­als to in­stall a 100MW tidal gen­er­a­tion scheme off the Fair Head coast­line has lodged a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for per­mis­sion to in­stall tidal tur­bines on the seabed and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture to bring the power ashore.

Clodagh Mcgrath, project man­ager of Fair Head Tidal, says the feed­back so far from the com­mu­nity has been pos­i­tive.

“We ini­tially en­gaged with the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties of Bal­ly­cas­tle, Rath­lin and the broader north coast in May 2014, out­lin­ing our devel­op­ment ap­proach and plans for an pro­gramme of site sur­veys.

“We re­turned in Au­gust last year to share fur­ther de­tails in­clud­ing the find­ings from the sur­veys.

“Con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal com- mu­ni­ties is a val­ued part of our devel­op­ment process and will con­tinue go­ing for­ward.”

The com­pany says the sup­port­ing en­vi­ron­ment state­ment “con­tains de­tails on the dif­fer­ent types of tidal tur­bine tech­nolo­gies be­ing con­sid­ered for the site, to­gether with find­ings from the sur­veys un­der­taken and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments”.

The ap­pli­ca­tion fol­lows a pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion, which in­cluded two rounds of public in­for­ma­tion days.

The project is the se­cond of two tidal schemes off the north Antrim coast to have se­cured agree­ment from The Crown Es­tate for the devel­op­ment of large scale tidal en­ergy projects.

“It is in­tended that the Fair Head Tidal project would be de­vel­oped in two stages,” Ms Mcgrath said.

“The first stage would be to in­stall an ar­ray of per­haps four to six tur­bines.

“The se­cond stage would be more sub­stan­tial, com­plet­ing the scheme’s 100MW out­put, which we cal­cu­late would sup­ply enough en­ergy to power some 70,000 homes.”

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