~e; winds of Ireland
Fri, 11 Jan 2002 10:50:31 -0600
Ireland Plans Largest Wind Farm
8:15 a.m. Jan. 11, 2002 PST
DUBLIN -- Ireland on Friday approved a 640 million euro ($571.4
million) plan to build the world's largest offshore wind farm,
capable of generating 520 megawatts of electricity.
Marine and Natural Resources Minister Frank Fahey said the wind farm,
in the Irish Sea off County Wicklow on Ireland's east coast, would be
three times the size of all the existing wind farms in the world put
"Today heralds the dawning of a new age of clean, green energy,
harvested from two plentiful renewable sources, the sea and the
wind," said Fahey at a Foreshore Lease signing ceremony in Dublin.
The facility, to be built on a sandbank by a private Irish company
called Eirtricity, should supply about 10 percent of the country's
energy needs, the minister said.
"I am particularly pleased that this project, the most ambitious
offshore wind energy development ever undertaken, is being undertaken
by a dynamic Irish company who have already established a track
record in renewable energy projects."
Fahey also said the station, about seven kilometers (four miles)
offshore at its nearest point, should reduce Ireland's emissions of
harmful carbon dioxide gas by 13.5 million tons a year.
Eirtricity hopes to begin construction work in the spring, with the
first phase of the project, generating 60 megawatts, going into
operation in the autumn.
When finished the wind farm will be made up of 200 giant turbines
sunk into the 27-kilometer-long Arklow Sandbank.
Eirtricity is headed by Eddie O'Connor, former boss of the
state-sponsored Bord Na Mona peat-producing company. The company is
51 percent owned by Ireland's National Toll Roads, with the balance
controlled by a consortium of investors including O'Connor.
Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited.
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