Planning permission has been refused for a giant €30m windfarm with turbines that stretch up to 500ft high.
The planned turbines, at Electric Ireland’s coal-burning power station at Moneypoint, would have been more than 100ft higher than Dublin’s stainless steel Spire.
Clare County Council refused planning for the five 500ft turbines on the grounds of impact on the adjoining Shannon estuary, which contains the largest resident bottlenose dolphin population in Europe.
The windfarm is part of Electric Ireland’s plans to deliver a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, which will include more than 1,400MW of wind generation. The application follows more than 130 turbines approved or applied for in west Clare.
The west Clare community of Doonbeg is split over plans for a €200m 45-turbine wind farm by private firm West Coastal Wind Power Ltd.
According to the applicant for the Moneypoint plan, ESB Wind Developments Ltd, the wind farm could produce 45m units of electricity per annum.
Electric Ireland, formerly the ESB, did secure planning permission for a 110m (360ft) nine-turbine wind farm at Moneypoint 11 years ago, but never proceeded with the project.
The Shannon Whale and Dolphin Group had expressed concerns over the impact rock blasting for the latest project would have on dolphins.
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