Northern Ireland’s Fair Head tidal power project moves forward with planning applications

Tidal power developer DP Energy has submitted planning applications for the 100-MW Fair Head installation.

The application would give DP Energy and partner Bluepower NV permission to install turbines and transmission infrastructure off the County Antrim coast in Northern Ireland.

The application is supported by an environmental statement that analyzed a number of potential tidal turbine technologies to be used at the site, as well as feedback gathered from two rounds of public information sessions.

“We initially engaged with the local communities of Ballycastle, Rathlin and the broader north coast in May 2014, outlining our development approach and plans for an extensive program of site surveys,” project manager Clodagh McGrath said. “We returned in August last year to share further details, including the findings from the surveys. Consultation with local communities is a valued part of our development process and will continue going forward.”

The developers said the Fair Head project will be developed in two stages. The first stage would likely see a maximum of six turbines installed, while the second would raise the site’s cumulative capacity raised to power an estimated 70,000 homes.

Informational materials show the site’s initial 10 MW installation will use Atlantis Resources Ltd.’s SeaGen turbine units, which have already received significant testing in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough.

DP Energy estimates that the project could create as many as 340 jobs during its construction and 75 jobs thereafter.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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