Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below are addressed comprehensively in the project's Environmental Impact Statement and Natura Impact Statement. The answers below are shortened versions of the conclusions which are intended to give you a summary of the main conclusions. We would invite you to examine the project in more detail by reading the full text.

How can I get a feel for how tall the turbines will look from shore?

At 10km offshore, wind turbines at 200m in height will make a vertical angle of about 1 degree at the viewer's eye. For ease of visualisation, this is equivalent to about the height of an adult's thumbnail (not thumb) when viewed at arm's length. This is for a location 10km offshore; when seen from viewpoints further away, the turbines will appear smaller. In comparison, the Poolbeg Chimneys, when viewed from Sandymount Strand would make a vertical angle of about 7 degrees at the viewers eye and a typical onshore wind turbine, at a setback of 500 m will make an angle of about 15 degrees.

How will offshore wind energy benefit Ireland?
Ireland will need at least 4500 MW of wind energy by 2020 for mandatory EU targets. It is very unlikely that all of this capacity will be installed onshore. Government will therefore need to bring 1,000 MW of wind energy into production off the Irish East Coast by 2020 - see graphic below. This Irish offshore wind capacity, which includes Dublin Array, will allow Ireland to reach its 2020 target, thereby avoiding very significant annual fines..

Irish Sea wind projects for NOW

Who is making the applications?
The applications have been made by Saorgus Energy Ltd companies and the project is being managed by the Dublin Array team in Saorgus Energy. Saorgus Energy is an established Irish renewable energy developer of more than 20 years' experience.

Why did you choose this location?
The Kish and Bray Banks were selected because they have all the attributes ideally required for an offshore wind farm - high wind resource, suitable water depths and ground conditions for installation of turbines, proximity to the high electricity demand of Dublin, lack of interference with shipping or fisheries or birds. A fuller explanation of the site's suitability is provided in the Environmental Impact Statement's full text.

Why not build onshore?
Our company has built projects onshore and will continue to do so. Ireland has a large renewable resource both onshore and offshore and we are using this resource to build strong projects, create jobs and help Dublin and Ireland meet green energy goals.

Will this energy be used in Ireland?
Yes, the decarbonisation of the Irish economy will require offshore wind projects like Dublin Array. Developing projects like Dublin Array increases our security of energy supply and reduces our dependence on foreign oil and gas. This helps our economy and reduces our exposure to the volatility of international fossil fuel prices. It also is essential in order to achieve government energy policy goals. Net export of wind energy will not be possible until domestic targets are met and this is very unlikely to occur in the short term.

What about the visual impact of the turbines?
Visual impact of a wind energy project is largely subjective. While modern offshore wind turbines are very tall, this project is located around 10 km offshore. Because the turbines are so far away, they appear to be much smaller and have less impact when viewed from land - they will appear about as high as an outstretched thumbnail. The turbines are painted in a neutral colour, further reducing their visibility. Ultimately, this is something on which each person will make up their own mind.

Will there be pylons on shore?
It is envisaged that wind energy projects in the Irish Sea will be constructed in conjunction with new interconnectors as will be required under the EU's Energy Union plans. Any such connections will link with existing grid onshore by way of underground cabling.

Will the turbines harm bird life?
The potential impacts on bird life were comprehensively addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement and Natura Impact Statement that were prepared as part of the Foreshore Lease applications. These studies included an assessment of the potential impacts on birds from all Natura 2000 sites in the greater Dublin / Wicklow area. These studies concluded that the project would not have a significant adverse impact on birds or on the integrity of any Natura 2000 sites.

What about marine life, are they in danger?
Use of 'soft start' construction techniques and new technology such as cofferdams will practically eliminate the risk to fish and mammals who repopulate the area very quickly when the installation of turbines has finished, as proven in the UK and Denmark.

The Kish Bank has been earmarked for designation as a Natura 2000 sandbank; developing a wind farm on the site is incompatible with this designation?

Our application has been prepared in the knowledge that designation of one or more of the banks as Natura 2000 sites was possible and our Environmental Impact Statement and Natura Impact Statement has demonstrated that the development of the wind farm will not interfere with the integrity of any such designation.

Is there a danger to shipping?
On the contrary, the turbines will provide clear marking of the banks which are currently a hazard to navigation.

Will sailing in this area be severely restricted and unsafe once the turbines are in place?
The lowest tip of the blades will be at least 30 metres above sea level which is higher than the masts of all but the largest sailing boats. The turbines will be clearly marked and will provide clear marking of the depth around each turbine, making it safer to navigate.

Will commercial fishing be possible on the banks?
Commercial fishing will still be possible on the banks as the wind farm will have no impact on static line fishing i.e. fishing for whelk and lobsters etc. There is no bottom trawling on the banks as it is not safe to carry this out. In the interests of fishing and navigational safety, we will engage the services of a Fisheries Liaison Officer at an appropriate time closer to construction to coordinate vessel movement information with local fishermen in order that appropriate actions can be taken to avoid or minimize any interactions with ongoing fishing activities in the local area and to contact fishing vessels in order to inform them of the presence and location of any vessels working on the project.

Will this make recreational fishing impossible?
There will be no change in recreational fishing opportunities on the banks.

Will this harm tourism and business in the area?
In 2008 Bord Fáilte commissioned a survey of visitor attitudes to wind energy which found that the vast majority of visitors saw wind energy as a positive development for Ireland. The majority of tourists surveyed did not feel a wind farm was a negative addition to the landscape. When the wind farm is built there is likely to be a substantial boost to the local economy as new jobs are created in the region and local traders and hoteliers benefit from additional footfall.

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dublin array offshore windfarm
Dublin Array, Enterprise House, Kerry Technology Park, Listowel Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Tel: +353 66 7129144 • Email: info@dublinarray.com