Arklow Bank Wind Park

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Arklow Bank Wind Park
ArklowBankConstruction.jpg
GE turbines on dock during Arklow Bank construction 2003
Arklow Bank Wind Park is located in Ireland
Arklow Bank Wind Park
Location of Arklow Bank Wind Park in Ireland
Country Ireland
Location Arklow, Irish Sea
Coordinates 52°47′20″N 5°56′56″W / 52.789°N 5.949°W / 52.789; -5.949Coordinates: 52°47′20″N 5°56′56″W / 52.789°N 5.949°W / 52.789; -5.949
Status Operational
Commission date 2004
Owner(s) GE Energy
Operator(s) GE Energy
Wind farm
Type Offshore
Distance from shore 10 km (6.2 mi)
Hub height 73.5 m (241 ft)
Rotor diameter 124 m (407 ft)
Power generation
Units operational 7
Make and model GE Wind Energy: GE 3.6xl
Nameplate capacity 25 MW
Website
www.airtricity.com

Arklow Bank Wind Park is a 25 megawatt offshore wind farm generating electrical power for the Wicklow region in Ireland. It is the first offshore wind farm in Ireland, and the world's first erection of wind turbines rated over 3megawatts each. It is located on the Arklow Bank, a shallow water sandbank in the Irish Sea, around 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) off the coast of Arklow with an area of 27 by 2.5 kilometres (16.8 by 1.6 mi).[1]

The project is being co-developed by Airtricity and GE Energy. In 2002, Airtricity obtained an offshore lease for a 520 MW offshore wind farm. The first phase of the project, commissioned in June 2004, consists of seven GE 3.6-megawatt generators. They were installed by the Danish offshore wind farms services provider A2SEA.[2] Power cables were laid by Five Oceans Services (now SIEM Offshore Contractors),[3] and construction of the turbines themselves was based out of Rosslare Port. All of the turbines have a height of 73.5 metres (241 ft) and height to top of blade of 124 metres (407 ft). The blade length is 50.5 metres (166 ft) and each turbine has three blades. Each turbine weights 290 tonnes. They use steel monopole foundations driven in by a hydraulic hammer and each turbine has a landing platform for boat access. They are spaced 600 metres (2,000 ft) apart.[4] Generated electricity is fed to ESB Networks distribution grid through the Arklow National Grid Substation.[1]

Phase 2 of the Arklow Project was to be developed in partnership with Acciona Energy of Spain. The development was to consist of a further 193 turbines. However, Phase 2 and the planned connection to Eirgrid transmission system was canceled in 2007.[5]

The project is proposed to a larger scheme which includes a further installation at Bray Head and would see a total of 1620MW generation capacity, almost twice the offshore turbine capacity in operation worldwide as of 2006. The development has elicited local concern that some 420 turbines would also be visible from the Arklow coast while applications have been submitted for further wind banks in excess of 1000MW capacity.[6] Local consultation about offshore power generation is minimal,[7] but the local tourism association lists the wind farm as part of the Arklow South Beach.[8] However, despite planning and controversy, the Arklow Bank Wind Farm capacity remains 25MW as of September 2014.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Irelands Offshore Wind Power, University of Delaware
  2. ^ "A2SEA references" (PDF). A2SEA (A2SEA). 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  3. ^ "Arklow Bank Offshore Wind Farm". Five Oceans Services/SIEM Offshore Contractors. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Datasheet for Arklow Bank". LORC Knowledge. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  5. ^ http://www.airtricity.com/assets/Uploads2/Press-Releases/Offshore-support-press-release1.pdf
  6. ^ Background Note: Wicklow Offshore Wind Farms – Inadequate Permitting Process, Coastal Concern Alliance]
  7. ^ Pylon concerns raised with Labour, Wicklow News
  8. ^ Arklow South Beach & Wind Farm visitarklow.ie
  9. ^ Infrastructure Arklow & District Chamber

External links[edit]