The renewable energy firm behind proposals to install a tidal generation scheme off Fair Head is to host two open days to gather opinions and share information with local communities.
Cork-based DP Energy which has developed renewable energy projects for over 20 years will set up an exhibition in Ballycastle on 23rd August and on Rathlin island on 24th August, 2016. The exhibitions will also be supported by DP Energy’s joint partners in the Fair Head Tidal scheme, Bluepower NV (a partnership between marine construction group DEME and utility investor, Nuhma).
Clodagh McGrath, Project Manager Fair Head Tidal, says the company wants to let as many people in the area know what is being proposed off the Antrim coast.
“We initially engaged with the local communities of Ballycastle, Rathlin and the broader north coast in 2014, by sharing information on tidal energy, outlining our development approach and plans for an extensive programme of site surveys.” says Ms McGrath.
“Now we have completed our survey programme and developed more details on our plans, we are delighted to return so that local people can provide their views, reactions and comments before we submit our planning application.” she added.
The project is the second of two tidal schemes to have secured leases from The Crown Estate for areas of the seabed where currents are strong and offer the greatest potential as a clean and reliable power source.
It is proposed that the Fair Head Tidal project would be developed in two stages, says Ms McGrath.
“The first stage is to install an array of perhaps four to six turbines,” she says. “The second stage would be more substantial, completing the scheme’s 100MW output, and predicted to supply enough energy to power some 70,000 homes.”
“We will show people images of the proposed technologies and charts of the seabed where it is proposed to install these, together with findings from our environmental surveys and assessment of potential impacts from the development, during the construction and operation stages.” says Ms McGrath.
The potential for local employment and skills training is currently being assessed by Fair Head Tidal, and the planning application will include a specific section covering the potential socio-economic benefits which could arise if the scheme is built.
DP Energy is developing similar schemes off the east coast of Canada, and off Orkney and Islay, Scotland.
Joris Minne, JPR, Belfast, mob: 07876 218978 or [email protected]