September 11, 2020

Plans for 26 turbines in Bracklyn and Raharney area

Olga Aughey | Westmeath Examiner | September 11, 2020 |

Two separate wind energy companies are proposing to erect wind turbines in the Bracklyn area of Delvin – Galetech, and Bord na Móna Powergen.

Galetech plan to build 11 turbines on lands at Bracklyn, while this week Bord na Móna Powergen has published the proposed location for 26 of its turbines, proposed for Ballivor, Bracklin, Carranstown, Lisclogher and Lisclogher West, bringing the total turbine count to 37.

At 200m in height, the turbines in Bracklyn will be the largest built on the island of Ireland, even higher than both The Spire and Liberty Hall in Dublin.

Conor Milligan of the Delvin Wind Info Group says his interest was peaked when he realised the size of the structures.

“Thirty-seven turbines is a lot for a rural area that’s well populated. It’s just wrong,” he says emphatically.

“The Galetech ones are more than three times taller than Liberty Hall in Dublin – which is 59m – at 180m, and the Bord na Móna Powergen turbines are 20m higher again at 200m. These turbines are going to be the tallest in all of Ireland.

“I was told by Galetech that the highest turbines in Ireland at the moment are 174m, and those are located over in the West of Ireland. I believe the reason they have to go so high is they’re not going to get the wind speeds that they want because it’s such flat land.

“Locally, people aren’t against renewable energy but they think the midlands is the wrong place for them. These would be better off-shore, plus there’s other forms of renewable energy. I think people are sickened that these companies can come in and do this to the area.”

Another member of the Delvin Wind Info Group, Mark Clune says: “We’ve just had confirmation of the BnM Powergen turbine locations this week, and the closest is 1km from a house.

“Both Bord na Móna and Galetech held public meetings, the former right before the lockdown started in March, and the latter shortly after, so not a lot of people went those,” continues Mark.

“Bord na Móna windfarm stretches right from Lisclogher, to Bracklyn, Raharney, and then on up to Ballivor.

“The closest turbine in Bracklyn Wind Farm to me is 1,200m from my house.

“Like a lot of people in the group, I’m not against green energy, but I can’t see, if they have to go to 180 or 200 meters, how that will work in a populated area.

“Just looking at the map Bord na Móna released, there’s 72 homes within 800m and 1000m distance of a turbine. That’s 72 families affected.

“First of all your house price will go down, anything between 15 – 40%. Although Galetech actually told us it will go up, – there’s not a hope!

“We’re worried about wildlife, the visual impact, how it’s going to affect the health and wellbeing of families living close-by.

“The noise of them is my main concern. Galetech told us you won’t hear them once you’re over 500m away, but we all know that is not true. Anyone living in the countryside will know that sound travels, particularly at night-time. We’ve visited Mount Lucas, and you can hear them more than 500m away.

“I have two kids here, I don’t know what effect these turbines will have on them. Children have a better hearing range. And even more-so for children with autism, who are extremely sensitive to noise and different frequencies.”

Both projects have yet to go to planning. More info at Delvin Wind Info Group.

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