First Flight wind farm
|First Flight wind farm|
|Location||Irish Sea, off County Down coast|
In 2009 the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment of Northern Ireland published a draft strategic plan for offshore renewable energy, which proposed a target of 600MW offshore wind by 2020. a study examined the Northern Ireland coastline to the 12 nm limit, and identified two potential wind farm sites: one northeast of Lough Foyle and north of Portstewart (Zone 1) with estimatated capacity 600MW); and one east of County Down, (Zone 2) with estimated capacity 900MW. Taking into account acceptable levels of negative environmental impact the developable wind zones were estimated at yielding 300 and 600MW of generating capacity respectively.
In December 2011 The Crown Estate began a tendering process for offshore renewable energy in Northern Ireland, including a 600MW wind farm site off the County Down coast, the wind farm site was within a smaller area of the region identified by the 2009 study. The wind farm site was ~8 km from the coast of Ireland, with an area of 438 square kilometres (169 sq mi), with water depths of 20 to 60 m (66 to 197 ft). In October 2012 First Flight Wind consortium (Dong Energy Power (UK) Limited, Renewable Energy Systems Limited (RES) and B9 Energy Offshore Developments Limited.) was awarded the development rights to the wind farm zone: the company estimated that around 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi) would need to be developed for a wind farm of 600MW capacity.
In 2014 First Flight Wind published an environmental scoping report for consultation. The developing company's initial (2014) estimates of the development process are for development of an application to be submitted c.2016, which if consented (period less than 1 year) would enter require a year for the design and contracts to be finalised, with construction taking place between late 2017 and 2021.
In 2014 the scale of the wind farm was reduced to minimise effects on shipping (Warrenpoint-Heysham) and fishing (Nephrops prawn); the resultant development had an estimated generating capacity of 300-400MW.
- Offshore Renewable Energy Strategic Action Plan 2009-2020 (consultation) (Dec 2009) p.19
- SEA -NTS (Dec 2009) p.2; fig.C, p.11; table 6, p.19; table 9. p23
- NI offshore renewable energy programme opened up, The Crown Estate, 15 December 2011
- Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.5-3.8, pp.6-7; fig.3.1, p.7; 4.6, p.10
- Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 1.1, p.1
- Northern Ireland green energy licences granted, BBC News, 10 Oct 2012
- Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.10, p.7
- First Flight Wind Publishes Offshore Scoping Report, Down District Council, 3 March 2014
- Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014)
- Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.12, p.8; fig.3.2, p.8
- "Deep cut at 600MW First Flight", renews.biz, 17 June 2014
- "First Flight Wind identifies preferred target capacity for offshore wind project", www.firstflightwind.com, 17 June 2014
- "First Flight dumps NI offshore plan", renews.biz, 2 Dec 2014
- O'Neill, Julian (2 Dec 2014), "County Down offshore wind farm plans scrapped", BBC News Northern Ireland
- "Strategic Environmental Assessment of Offshore Wind and Marine Renewable Energy", www.offshorenergyni.co.uk, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
- Consultation on an Offshore Renewable Energy Strategic Action Plan 2009-2020 (PDF), Dec 2009
- AECOM; Metoc (Dec 2009), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) - Non-Technical Summary (NTS) (PDF)
- Offshore Scoping Report (PDF), First Flight Wind, 28 Feb 2014
- First Flight Wind, 4C Offshore