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Electric Ireland appeals rejection of €30m windfarm

Electric Ireland has appealed Clare County Council’s refusal of planning permission for a giant €30m windfarm with turbines more than 100ft taller than Dublin’s Spire.
The windfarm plant was earmarked for Electric Ireland’s coal-burning power station at Moneypoint.

Last month, the council refused planning permission for the 500ft-high, five-turbine windfarm due to concerns over the impact on the adjoining Shannon estuary that 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.

The application follows more than 130 turbines approved or applied for in west Clare.

In its appeal, consultants for Electric Ireland, Inis Environmental Consultants Ltd, state that mitigation measures includes a proposed 200-metre observation zone from the shore and underwater noise monitoring during construction.

In its environment impact study, the ESB argued there is a significant development infrastructure already at Moneypoint and the proportional visual impact due to the existing industrial landscape and two 740ft chimneys would be small.

The Shannon Whale and Dolphin Group had expressed concerns over the impact rock blasting would have on dolphins, stating that “even the disturbance of small numbers of dolphins is to be avoided and may have significant effects on the dolphins as the population is low”.