Jul 26 2012

Celtic Array Windfarm Criticism

A new windfarm has been planned for the Irish Sea, and an initial proposal for the project has been submitted to the National Infrastructure Planning Agency of the UK government as of July 14, 2012.  The proposed windfarm may generate up to 2.2 gigawatts and include between 147 and 440 turbines.  The windfarm is a joint project between the companies Centrica and Dong Energy and this joint venture is now known as Celtic Array.

The location of the proposed windfarm will be 9 miles from Anglesey and 21 miles from the Isle of Man.  Centrica was awarded development rights to this area in 2010.  Recently, however, concerns were raised about the impact of the potential windfarm on travel in the area.  Travelwatch, an Isle of Man group whose stated purpose is “representing and promoting the interests of Isle of Man passengers,” has criticized the project.  The group believes that the construction of the windfarm will have negative impacts on the ferry system between England and the Isle of Man and would ultimately cause longer travel times for ferries as well as higher fares for passengers.  In a letter written by Travelwatch to the Celtic Array project, the developers are accused of failing to account for any effects to ferry passengers.  The leaders of Travelwatch state, “Passengers are a group who appear to have been completely omitted from your extensive consultations.”  Centrica has recently agreed to meet with Travelwatch leaders to discuss their concerns with the project.

The recent objection to this project further shows how difficult it is for developers to receive public support for ocean renewable energy projects, especially windfarms.  Strong public objection is also an issue in the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts and has made the project more difficult and lengthy.  I think that making people more knowledgeable about the benefits of renewable energy to their areas is an important step in making ocean renewable energy a viable resource across the world.

Sources:

“Irish Sea Windfarm Proposals Lodged with Planning Agency.” BBC News. BBC, 14 July 2012. Web. 26 July 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18841026>.

 

“Travelwatch Isle of Man – Isle of Man Travelwatch.” Travelwatch Isle of Man. Web. 26 July 2012. <http://www.travelwatch-isleofman.org/>.

 

“Wind Farm Development ‘paves the Way’ for Isle of Man.” BBC News. BBC, 20 May 2011. Web. 26 July 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-13469565>.

 

 

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