Ireland to Build ‘Giant’ Wind Turbines to Power UK Homes
From BBC News
Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.
The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.
But environmentalists have described the scheme as “crazy”.
They say it risks damaging Ireland’s landscape.
Under the plan, a number of companies are seeking to erect hundreds of wind turbines across the boggy midlands of Ireland. The power generated would be transferred to the UK via undersea cables that would join the grid at two points in Wales.
One of the developers, Element Power, says the plan would save UK consumers around £7bn over 15 years compared to other renewable sources.
The developers also say that thousands of jobs will be created in Ireland and the economy as a whole will benefit.
But concerns are now growing that the turbines needed to provide the power will be of a size and scale not seen in Britain or Ireland before.
Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.
“They will be spread around 40 clusters in five counties,” said Element Power’s Peter Harte.
“We felt it was better to built slightly larger turbines but fewer of them and that’s the best way to minimise the impact on the local area.”
But opponents say that local people have not been consulted and few actually realise just what an impact the turbines will have on the landscape.
“People don’t actually understand the scale of them,” said Andrew Duncan, an auctioneer and spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information group, who are opposed to the plan.
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