Category Archives: Statistics

Donegal wind farm planning details in 2016

ballyshannon-windfarm-and-house2

For the second year in a row the number of wind turbines granted permission in county Donegal (24) was lower than the number refused (52).  This is a continuation of a significant trend for such decisions; with the total number of turbines refused permission in 2016 (52) being just one more than the combined total (51) of refusals for the two prior years 2014 and 2015.

Wind turbine permissions for Donegal, per year

Decision/Year

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Granted

87 67 94 11

24

Refused

5 7 19 32

52

Withdrawn   1 4

 

Detail in relation to wind farm and ancillary development decisions

There were a total of 31 planning determinations, dealing with wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal concluded during 2016.  Of these applications six were deemed invalid by Donegal County Council.  A total of seven applications were granted for turbines, totalling 24 turbines, and three applications were refused for a total of 52 turbines.  Of the permissions granted two were extensions of duration.

Three windmasts were granted permission (two being retentions).  One section 5 referral and one pre-application consultation were also determined by to An Bord Pleanála during the year.  Further applications determined and granted related to grid connections, substations and amendments to hardstands.  These decisions are most troubling as they clearly demonstrate the prior wind farm permissions and the necessary assessments were significantly flawed by either failing to include or minimising significant elements from the original applications.  Such project splitting and the unwillingness of An Bord Pleanála to adequately reassess applications under Environmental Impact Assessment laws are a growing concern.

One further point to note is that the continued uncertainty in Donegal in relation to the Wind Energy elements of the County Development Plan, in particular the ongoing court action being take by Cllr. John Campbell is adding to growing community and industry anxiety over wind farm planning in the County; with the issue of zoning and safe setbacks from homes to wind farms remaining in legal and planning limbo.

Note: current live applications for wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal can be found here, and a link to the wind turbine planning permissions for Donegal in 2014, 2015 are here and here.

The featured image was taken by Matt Britton at a wind farm near Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal – see @britpix on twitter.

Table of wind farm and ancillary development decisions in Donegal 2016

Name

Location Turbines Reference no. Type of App. Status

Decision Date

Carrickaduff Windfarm

Planree Ltd

Between Barnes and Killygordon 49

ABP: PA0040

Full PP REFUSED

25 March 2016

Clogheravaddy Wind Farm Ltd

Frosses 7

DCC: 14/51305

ABP: PL05E.244417

Full PP GRANTED

19 February 2016

Clogheravaddy wind Ltd

Binbane Grid Connection

DCC: 16/50440

Full PP INVALID

6 April 2016

Clogheravaddy wind Ltd

Binbane Grid Connection

DCC: 16/50473

ABP: PL05 .246851

Full PP DCC: Refused

ABP: GRANTED

DCC: 8 June 2016

ABP: 24 Nov 2016

Connective Energy Holdings Ltd

Meenagrauv

Ballybofey

1

DCC: 15/51071

Full PP GRANTED

15 May 2016

Corvin Wind Ltd

Bauville, Inishowen Substation

DCC: 16/51540

Full PP GRANTED

1 December 2016

Cufgaze Limited

Drumnahough and Lenalea Wind Farms to Clogher Substation Substation

&

Grid Connection

ABP: VC0097

Pre-App consultation Is not strategic infrastructure

20 October 2016

Cunard Asset Management

Meenhore

Grousehall

2

DCC: 16/50040

Full PP INVALID

21 January 2016

Cunard Asset Management

Meenhore

Grousehall

2

DCC: 16/50209

Full PP INVALID

11 April 2016

Cunard Asset Management

Meenhore

Grousehall

2

DCC: 16/50209

Full PP REFUSED

15 June 2016

Declan Clarke

Kinnegoe Bay 1

DCC: 15/51683

ABP: PL05.246265

Full PP REFUSED

12 July 2016

Derrykillew Community Windfarm Ltd

Derrykillew

Ballyshannon

5

DCC: 14/51400

ABP: PL05E.245108

Full PP GRANTED

18 March 2016

ESB Networks and EirGrid PLC

Donegal 110kv Alter 110kv line

ABP: PL05.VM0010

Full PP GRANTED

11 May 2016

ESB

Sorn Hill Station & Transformer

DCC: 16/50829

Extend Duration GRANTED

21 July 2016

Gineadóir Gaoith Teoranta

Cronalaght Substation

DCC:15/51726

Amend PP GRANTED

25 February 2016

Gineadior Gaoithe Teo.

Gweedore 5

DCC: 16/50989

ABP: PL05.247194

Amend turbines GRANTED

DCC: 18 August 2016

22 December 2016

Glenalla Green Ltd.

Garrymore

Kerrykeel

1

DCC: 16/50297

Extend duration GRANTED

21 April 2016

Karol McElhinney

Aheavagh, Ballybofey 1

DCC: 16/50540

Extend duration GRANTED

16 June 2016

Lettergull Energy Ltd

Raphoe to Listillion Grid connection

DCC: 15/50968

Full PP GRANTED

18 February 2016

Lir Energy Ltd

Gweedore 1

DCC: 16/51532

Full PP INVALID

20 October 2016

Lir Energy Ltd

Gweedore 1

DCC: 16/51486

Full PP INVALID

12 October 2016

Maas Wind Ltd

Maas 11 Hardstands

DCC: 16/50564

ABP: PL05 .246871

Full PP GRANTED

DCC: 10 June 2016

21 December 2016

Planree Ltd

Cornashesk, Killygordon Wind Mast

DCC: 16/50254

Retention GRANTED

21 April 2016

Planree Ltd

Meenbog, Ballybofey Wind Mast

DCC: 16/50348

Retention GRANTED

21 April 2016

Planree Ltd

Ballyarrell Mountain & Lismulladuff, Killygordan 2 met masts

ABP: PL05E.RL3419

s.5 referral Is development

(Not Exempted)

8 February 2016

Planree Ltd

Meenbog, Ballybofey Wind Mast

DCC: 16/50447

Full PP INVALID

7 April 2016

Planree Ltd

Meenbog

Ballybofey

Wind Mast

DCC: 16/50585

Full PP GRANTED

16 June 2016

proVento Ireland PLC

Tullylinn

Pettigoe

4

DCC: 13/51404

ABP: PL05E.245588

Full PP GranTED

30 August 2016


Irish wind output lows of 2016

2016-wind-low

As 2016 begins to fade into the memory the media will be full of lists of the “highs and lows” from the year.  Each year our blog report of the Irish wind farm output lows for the previous year (see 2014, 2015) is one of the most read posts on our blog, so here are the lows for 2016 (ROI).

As with last year our more traditional media only seem capable of reporting on wind output highs – no doubt the data is churned out of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) PR department, see for example New records set for wind energy generation across Ireland during Christmas 2016, and subsequent copy and paste articles on Irish Times and NewsTalk.

In order to provide a little balance set out below is a table of the lowest wind output recorded, for the Republic of Ireland, in each of the last twelve months.  The lowest recorded being sustained periods with no output at all in February, May and October and the annual record low falling on 16 May 2016 when wind output was at a sustained recorded level of -3MW (all figures were sourced from EirGrid information webpage).

Month Recorded Output Low Date & Time
January 29 19/01/2016 04:15
February 0 11/02/2016 14:00
March 12 22/03/2016 04:15
April 4 19/04/2016 05:15
May -3 16/05/2016 09:00
June 4 08/06/2016 08:15
July 8 22/07/2016 21:15
August 3 14/08/2016 10:15
September 17 19/09/2016 19:00
October -2 20/10/2016 17:15
November 7 02/11/2016 16:00
December 39 14/12/2016 17:30

For some context for readers in relation to the output figures, according to IWEA the island of Ireland has 249 wind farms (215 in ROI) with an installed capacity of 3,301MW (2,659.116MW in ROI).   Demand on the island of Ireland fluctuates between 2,600MW – 6,100MW but reached a high of 6,878MW in December 2010.  It is clear therefore that wind energy outputs of between 0MW – 39MW (ROI) represent a very poor return for the Republic’s 2,659MW installed capacity.

So, the next time you see a pro-wind advert (remember that unlawfully broadcast JFK Power to Power Ourselves advertisement) or read an IWEA inspired “record Irish wind output” story check back to this page and visit EirGrid’s information page to confirm that despite the spin, the energy produced by wind turbines is unpredictable, intermittent and totally dependent on the backup of conventional fossil fuelled power plants such as those fuelled by gas, oil, coal or peat.


Donegal: Ministerial windfarm direction quashed

Details are beginning to emerge of the settlement reached by Cllr. John Campbell and the Department in relation to the quashing of the s31 Ministerial Direction issued by Minister Alan Kelly in October 2014 (see previous blog posts; here, here & here).  We understand the high court has approved and issued a number of orders including:

An order of certiorari quashing the County Donegal Development Plan 2012 – 2018 Directive 2014 (“the direction”) of 3 October 2014 issued pursuant to section 31 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) on the ground pleaded at (e) 5 of the statement of grounds of December 2014, namely that the respondent erred in failing to provide adequate reasons in the final direction of the 3rd October 2014 which would provide interested members of the public with a sufficient justification for the decision and determination.

An order pursuant to Order 84, rule 27(4) of the Rules of the Superior Courts remitting the matter to the Minister with a direction to reconsider it and to reach a decision in accordance with the findings of the High Court.

An order directing the Minister to pay the applicant’s legal costs of the judicial review proceedings, such costs to be taxed in default of agreement.

Cllr. Campbell and the Department have also agreed that, following the quashing of the s31 direction, it is appropriate that the matter should be remitted to the Minister to the stage of the statutory process where the Minister is entitled to appoint an inspector pursuant to section 31(11) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).  Under the terms of the settlement the Minister has until 31 July 2016 to appoint an Inspector.  Failure to do so by that date means the Department can no longer prevent Variation no.2 of the County Development Plan as passed by the elected members being enforced.  As a reminder the primary elements of the variation as passed see:

  1. the designation of Areas of Fresh Water Pearl Mussel (FWPM) including the catchments identified in the Sub-Basin Management Plans for Clady Eske, Glaskeelin, Leannan, Owencarrow and Owenea (as listed in S.I. 296 of 2009) as not favoured for wind farm development;
  2. the inclusion of an objective to ensure that wind energy developments do not adversely impact upon the existing residential amenities of residential properties, and other centres of human habitation (*‘Centre of Human Habitation’ includes schools, hospitals, churches, residential buildings or buildings used for public assembly’); and
  3. the establishment of a set back distance of ten times the tip height of proposed turbines from residential properties and other centres of human habitation.

Congratulations to Cllr. Campbell: who originally introduced the Variaiton no.2; who during his time as Cathaoirleach shepherded it through the Council chamber; and despite the risk of significant costs stuck to his principles in taking the case to the high court to uphold the democratic decision taken by our elected County Councillors.

What next?

The issue now returns to the Minister’s desk for review and there is in our eyes little basis to justify the appointment of an inspector following this court reversal.  However given that successive planning (environment) ministers appear to be in the pocket of the wind industry it is always possible that Minister Coveney (like his predecessor Alan Kelly) may bend with the wind!

 


Donegal wind farm planning details in 2015

FWPM and Wind Farm Zones Dongeal 2013

For the first year since we began keeping these records, in 2012, the number of wind turbines granted permission in county Donegal (11) was lower than the number refused (32).  This is a significant change in the trend for such decisions; with the total number of turbines refused permission in 2015 (32) being just one less the the combined total (33) of refusals for the three prior years 2012-2014.

Wind turbine permissions for Donegal, per year

Decision

2012

2013 2014 2015

Granted

87 67 94

11

Refused

5

7 19

32

Withdrawn

1 4

On reviewing the figures for 2012 -2015 the question does arise as to why there is such a steep decline in permissions granted in 2015.  It is clear that public opinion has turned against wind farms in Donegal.  The proposed variation to the County Development Plan in 2014 to set a 10 times height setback and dezone fresh water pearl mussel catchements from wind farm development achieved 3,326 public submissions in its favour.  County Councillors backed this variation only to see the Minister issue a direction to reverse it but this has been appealed to the high court by former Chairman Cllr. John Campbell and awaits hearing – scheduled for June 2016.  As we commented before this legal stand-off leave considerable uncertainty for planners and developers; this may be the cause of the drop in permissions in 2015.

The other contributory factor is the ongoing delays at An Bord Pleanála with 81 wind turbines across 4 cases, relating to Donegal, awaiting decision for very considerable periods of time.  While the delays at An Bord Pleanála relate in the main to other legal issues the uncertainty in relation to the Donegal County Development plan and zoning is another legal lacuna which faces the Board.

Detail in relation to wind farm and anciallry development decisions

There were a total of 18 planning applications, dealing with wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal concluded during 2015.  Of these applications two were withdrawn.  The high-level figures indicate that in 2015 with respect to Donegal, permission was granted for 11 turbines and refused for 32 turbines.  Of the 11 turbine permissions two were height amendments and six were extensions of duration, leaving just four new permissions being granted during 2015.  Permission was also granted for two 110kv substations, an access route, lightning poles for a substation and 1km of 33kv underground cabling.

Note: current live applications for wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal can be found here, and a link to the wind turbine planning permissions in 2014 are here.

Table of decisions concluded in 2015

Name

Location Turbines Reference no. Type of App. Status

Decision Date

Altnagapple Wind Farm Ltd Ardara 13 DCC: 15/50265

ABP: PL05E.244918

Full PP REFUSED

30 April 2015

22 September 2015

Aught Wind Farm Ltd Trillick Aught 1km of 33kv u/g cable DCC: 15/50070 Full PP GRANTED 23 March 2015
Clogheravaddy Wind Farm Ltd Frosses 7 DCC: 14/51305

ABP: appeal ongoing

Full PP REFUSED 8 January 2015
Corvin Wind Limited

Bauville

Buncrana

2 DCC: 14/51295 Full PP GRANT = 1

REFUSED = 1

6 January 2015
Corvin Wind Limited

Bauville

Buncrana

1 DCC: 15/50117 Full PP GRANTED 26 March 2015
Declan Clarke

Crockbrackhill

Moville

2 DCC: 14/51367

ABP: PL05E.244481

Amend height GRANTED

22 January 2015

23 June 2015

Derrykillew Community Windfarm Ltd

Derrykillew

Ballyshannon

5 DCC: 14/51400

ABP: appeal ongoing

Full PP REFUSED 10 June 2015
Eamonn McElhinney

Liskeeran

Stranorlar

1 DCC: 15/50407 Ext. of time GRANTED 14 May 2015
Eamonn McElhinney Liskeeran

Stranorlar

1 DCC: 15/50406 Ext. of time GRANTED 14 May 2015
ESB

Meenacahan

Inver

110kv

substation

DCC: 15/50397 Full PP GRANTED 21 May 2015
ESB

Listillion

Letterkenny

110kv substation DCC: 15/50249 Alterations GRANTED 23 April 2015
ESB Networks & EirGrid

Binbane – Letterkenny

& Tievbrack

110kV line

& station

ABP: PL05.VC0071 Pre-app.

Consultation

WITHDRAWN 21 May 2015
Patrick Bonnar

Garvegort windfarm

Garvegort, Glebe

Ardara

4 DCC: 15/50054 Ext of time GRANTED 7 May 2015
GTBC

Aideen Brett

Meenhore

Grousehall

2 DCC: 14/51419 Full PP REFUSED 5 February 2015
Killin Hill Windfarm Ltd

Meenagranoge

Inver

Access route DCC: 15/51088 Full PP GRANTED 8 October 2015
Michael O’Donnell

Carricknamohill

Killybegs

1 DCC: 15/50047 Full PP GRANTED 25 June 2015
Power & Energy Holdings

Clogher Substation

Cullinaboy

Lightning Poles DCC: 15/50765 Full PP GRANTED 24 July 2015
proVento Ireland PLC

Tullylinn

Pettigoe

4 DCC: 13/51404 Full PP REFUSED 10 September 2015

Wind farms at An Bord Pleanála during 2015

An Bord Pleanála Logo

As followers of our Twitter account will be aware we provide a weekly update on the number of turbines granted and refused on appeal by An Bord Pleanála.  Since 2014 we also began recording the number of turbines placed on appeal or applied for and subsequently withdrawn.   The purpose of this blog post is to give our readers the detail of An Bord Pleanála’s wind farm activity for 2015 and to provide a high level comparison between the last three years.  An Bord Pleanála’s list of weekly decided cases is published online and can be found here.

Outcome 2013 2014 2015
Granted 164 120 10
Refused 117 76 115
Withdrawn 0 5 19
Total Turbines  281 201 144

The most notable trend in the table above is the clear halt placed on granting wind turbine planning permissions during 2015.  The two prior years saw a grant/refuse ration of 3/2 – for every three turbines granted permission two would be refused – but 2015 saw the number of permissions granted collapse to only ten turbines, across 5 planning applications.

As we noted in our review of wind farms in the Irish courts during 2015, “we believe this is due to the fact that An Bord Pleanála is in a state of near paralysis when it comes to wind farm applications, with very significant delays the norm (in July 446 turbines were awaiting a decision).”  Those opposed to wind farms are very organised and more often than not shall bring court challenges to An Bord Pleanála decisions.  Of the 120 turbines granted permission in 2014 almost 75%, 89 turbines, were challenged in the courts.  Significant judgments such as O Grianna & ors -v- An Bord Pleanála [2014] IEHC 632 and others have helped to clarify significant weaknesses in An Bord Pleanála assessment of wind farm applications and forced the Board to revise their flawed processes, thus lengthening the period for decisions.

As an example a 16 turbine wind farm which Galetech first applied to Roscommon County Council for planning permission in 2010, was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála in 2011, was subject of High Court hearings in 2013, and judgments in 2014 (here and here) this wind farm planning appeal still remains undecided by An Bord Pleanála in January 2016.  This example is not alone see our previous blog on such delays.

As is clear 2015 was the year An Bord Pleanála failed to grant permission for any wind farm of scale.  There are many out there who hope this trend continues for many years to come.  Whatever the underlying reason there remains a significant number of turbines awaiting decision and until those decisions are made many communities remains under threat from the lack of mandatory setbacks between homes and turbines.

As promised we have set out below the detail of wind turbine decisions during 2015.  These are divided into the following groups for ease of reference:

  • Those granted permission
  • Those refused permission
  • Those withdrawn
  • Other decisions of interest

Those granted permission during 2015 by An Bord Pleanála

Case No County No. of Turbines Date
243776: Cloggagh, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan (14/103) Cavan 1 16/01/2015
243964: Kilcarrig, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. (13/322) Carlow 1 18/02/2015
244753: Co. Donegal. (15/50117) Donegal 1 24/09/2015
244481: Crockbrack Hill, Carrowbeg and Meenletterbale, Moville, Co.Donegal (14/51367) Donegal 2 23/06/2015
244903: Pollaghoole, Ballaghanoher, Ross, Clondallow, Co. Offaly. (15/44) Offaly 5 21/10/2015

Those refused permission during 2015 by An Bord Pleanála

Case No

County No. of Turbines

Date

244147: Cronaliegh, Kildavin, Co. Carlow (14/81)

Carlow

1

02/04/2015

242819: Proctor and Gamble, Coolaholloga, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. (13/510334)

Tipperary

1

28/04/2015

244388: Hilltop Farm, Turbeagh, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. (14/05573)

Cork

1

12/05/2015

PA0031: Proposed Cluddaun Wind Farm and associated works, Mayo

Mayo

48

18/05/2015

243479: Rathconnor, Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon. (PD13/78)

Roscommon

2

15/06/2015

244357: Cregg, College and Rathgillen Townlands, Nobber, Co. Meath (KA14/0921)

Meath

6

19/06/2015

244088: Carrowmore South, Einagh and Shragh, Doonbeg, Co. Clare. (14/487)

Clare

9

02/07/2015

244918: Altnagapple, Meentanadea and Mulmosog, Co. Donegal. (15/50265)

Donegal

13

22/09/2015

244723: Loughbrattoge, Doocharn and Tullynageer, Co. Monaghan. (14/46)

Monaghan

5

30/11/2015

PA0031: Ardderroo Windfarm Limited, Galway

Galway

29

21/12/2015

Those ‘withdrawn’ before a decision was reached during 2015

Case No

County No. of Turbines

Date

243851: Bahaga, Cappagh, Foildarg, Oldcastle, Cappaghwhite, Co. Tipperary. (13/210)

Tipperary

18

26/02/2015

245670: Rathclarish, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary (15/600699)

Tipperary

1

05/11/2015

Other decisions of interest

In January An Bord Pleanála decided that a 10kv overhead line to a wind farm from a consented development is development and is exempted development.

In March the Board decided that a 47 turbine wind farm proposed in five clusters located in north County Kildare (45 turbines) and south County Meath (2 turbines) is a project that qualifies for application under the Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) process.

In April a referral in relation to Lisdowney wind farm of whether the construction of a 20KV electrical connection between the consented windfarm ( 12/172) and existing ESB substation is or is not development or is or is not exempted development was withdrawn

In May ESB Networks and EirGrid withdrew an SID pre-application in relation to amendments to the Donegal 110kv project, including the relocation of a switching station from Tievebrack to Drumnalough, and the extension and amendment to the Ardnagappary to Drumnalough line.  It is clear agreement was reached between the Board and the applicants and a revised application lodged later in 2015.

During the year An Bord Pleanála concluded a number of cases/referrals in relation to the Kilvinane wind farm; see leave to apply for substitute consent granted in Aprilleave to apply for substitute consent granted in April, decision to permit a pre-application consultation meeting.  The substitute consent was applied for late in 2015 and awaits a decision.

_____________________________________

Last updated: 16 January 2016

We are aware that on such a long blogpost we may have made some errors, or inadvertently omitted a case or certain relevant information.  If we have please let us know by emailing: cawt.donegal@gmail.com or via twitter@CAWT_Donegal.

 

 

 


Donegal wind farm planning details in 2014

There were a total of 31 planning applications, dealing with wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal concluded during 2014.  Of these applications four were deemed invalid and a further four were withdrawn.  Of the four withdrawals three were withdrawn by the applicant and one was deemed withdrawn as further information was not received within the specified time frame.

The high-level figures indicate that in 2014 with respect to Donegal permission was granted for 94 turbines & associated works; 2 individual substations; 2 individual wind masts; 1 38kv line and an access road; and refused for 19 turbines.

Donegal County Council were responsible for granting permission for 84 turbines with An Bord Pleanála granting permission for 10 of the permitted turbines.  Of those refused permission Donegal County Council refused 16 in 2014 and An Bord Pleanála refusing 16.  There is a cross over from 2013 applications but a total of 19 turbines were refused.

Of the turbines granted permission 25 were extensions of duration (of about to expire planning consents) and 43 turbines had amendments made to their planning permissions.  Of these amendments 2 were for height extensions and 41 had amendments made to the permitted timings of the proposed construction works.

There was also one decision in relation to the pre-application consultation on a Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) by An Bord Pleanála the now 51 turbine development proposed by Planree Ltd. (previously mooted as 45 turbines) was declared an SID and can now bypass Donegal County Council planners.

One final, yet interesting point, is that there are redacted documents on two planning applications see below Derrykillew (withdrawn) and Clogheravaddy (refused).  No explanation has been provided by Donegal County Council as to why such public documents have been redacted.

Note: current live applications for wind farms and ancillary developments in Donegal can be found here.

Table of Donegal wind farm and ancillary development planning applications

concluded in 2014 

Name Location Turbines Reference no. Type of App. Status Decision Due Date
Declan Clarke Crockbrackhill

Moville

Substation DCC: 13/51462 Full PP/Mod. GRANTED 9 January 2014
Declan Clarke Crockbrackhill

Moville

2 DCC: 14/50014 Amend height REFUSED 6 March 2014
Declan Clarke Kinnagoe bay

Inishowen

2 DCC: 14/50368 Amendheight INVALID 30 April 2014
Declan Clarke Crockbrackhill

Moville

2

DCC: 14/50014

ABP: PL05E.243207

Amend height GRANT 5 August 2014
Declan Clarke Crockbrackhill

Moville

2 DCC: 14/51131 Amend height INVALID 10 November 2014
Derrykillew Community Windfarm Limited Derrykillew

Ballyshannon

5 DCC: 14/50394 Full PP WITHDRAWN 14 May 2014
ESB Networks Rossiger

Stranorlar

38kV line DCC: 14/50172 Extend Duration GRANT 3 April 2014
ESB Wind Development Limited

Bradlieve Windfarm

Ballymagroarty

Ballintra

7

DCC: 12/50652

ABP: PL05E.242411

Full PP REFUSED 24 January 2014
FahanWind Ltd Upper Illies

Buncrana

2 DCC: 14/51149 Full PP GRANTED 23 November 2014
Highland Wind Energy Lurganboy

Rathmullen

4 DCC: 14/50292 ExtendDuration GRANTED 17 April 2014
Island Seafoods Killybegs 1 DCC: 14/51410 Full PP INVALID 10 December 2014
Maas Wind Ltd Loughderryduff

Maas

Substation DCC: 14/50553 Full PP GRANT 3 July 2014
Maas Wind Ltd Loughderryduff

Maas

Access Road DCC: 14/51187 AmendAccess road GRANTED 20 November 2014
Meenbane

Michael Magee

Meenbane

Ballybofey

3 DCC: 12/50583 Full PP WITHDRAWN 5 June 2014
M.D. South Windfarm Limited Lough Cuill

Meenadreen & Croaghnameal

11

DCC:12/50866

ABP: PL05E.242056

Full PP GRANT = 8

REFUSE = 3

No date available
North West Wind Ltd Loughderryduff

Maas, Glenties

11 DCC: 14/50070 Ext. of time GRANTED 13 February 2014
Planree Ltd Carrckduff Hill

Lismullyduff

Ballybofey –

Killygordan

51 ABP: PL05.PC0170 Pre-appconsultation Is Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) 4 December 2014
Pro Power EnergyLimited Inishowen West 2 DCC: 12/50488 Full PP GRANT = 1

REFUSED = 1

13 February 2014
REACT Energy Ltd Altilow

Donegal Town

6

DCC: 14/50326

ABP: PL05E.243413

Full PP REFUSED 1 May 2014
Reforce Energy Limited Meenybraddan

Croagh

1 DCC: 13/51189 Full PP DEEMED

WITHDRAWN

19 May 2014
SSE & Coillte Cark 15 DCC: 13/51609 Full PP GRANT 13 February 2014
SSE & Coillte Carrickalangan

Drumkeen

Windmast DCC: 13/51271 Retention GRANTED 21 March 2014
SSE & Coillte Killymasny

Drumkeen

Windmast DCC: 13/51346 Retention GRANTED 21 March 2014
Three Trees Wind Energy Limited Three Trees

Quigley’s Point

5 DCC: 13/51550 Ext. of time GRANTED 23 January 2014
Three Trees Wind Farm Glackmore Hill

Quigley’s Point

5 (2) DCC: 13/50149 Ext. of time GRANTED 23 January 2014
Windgeneration Ireland Ltd Meenadreen

extension

5 DCC: 14/51229 Amend construction condition GRANTED 4 December 2014
Windgeneration Ireland Ltd Croaghnameal 8 DCC: 14/51228 Amend construction condition GRANTED 4 December 2014
Windgeneration Ireland Ltd Straness 28 DCC: 14/50467 Amend construction condition INVALID 25 April 2014
Windgeneration Ireland Ltd Straness 28 DCC: 14/50508 Amend construction condition WITHDRAWN 20 June 2014
Windgeneration Ireland Ltd Straness 28 DCC: 14/50777 Amend construction condition GRANTED 21 August 2014

Irish wind output lows of 2014

As 2014 begins to fade into the memory the media will be full of lists of the “highs and lows” from the year.  However, what is notable each year is that our media only seem capable of reporting on wind output highs – no doubt the data is churned out of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) PR department.  This story on Christmas eve 2014 by the Journal.ie is just one such example.  In order to provide a little balance set out below is a table of the lowest wind output recorded, on the island of Ireland, in each of the last twelve months.  The lowest recorded being a period in October when wind output was at a sustained level of zero or below* (all figures were sourced from EirGrid wind generation webpage).

For some context for readers in relation to the output figures, according to IWEA the island of Ireland has 222 wind farms (188 in ROI) with an installed capacity of 2,889MW (1826 in ROI).   Demand on the island of Ireland fluctuates between 2,600MW – 6,100MW but reached a high of 6,878MW in December 2010.

While the figures speak for themselves, it is clear that the wind output lows are a very small percentage return on the installed capacity, ranging from 0 – 3%, and the figures also show that at times wind contributes little to meet even the average daily electricity demand on the island of Ireland.

Month Output Date/Time
January 54MW 08/01/2014 15:00
February 97MW 06/02/2014 16:00
March 2MW 13/03/2014 11:30
April 7MW 18/04/2014 06:45
May 3MW 26/05/2014 09:00
June 7MW 18/06/2014 09:00
July 8MW 15/07/2014 08:45
August 7MW 01/08/2014 10:45
September 2MW 09/09/2014 09:15
October ZERO 11/10/2014 – 12/10/2014*
November 11MW 05/11/2014 11:45
December 24MW 28/12/2014 12:15

*The ZERO October output is the lowest in the last few years with sustained periods on 11th and 12th October 2014 generating no wind output and some even returning negative figures.  Visit EirGrid wind generation page to see for yourself.

So, the next time you read an IWEA inspired “record Irish wind output” story check back to this page and visit EirGrid wind generation page to confirm that despite the spin, the energy produced by wind turbines is unpredictable, intermittent and totally dependent on the backup of conventional fossil fuelled power plants such as those fuelled by gas, oil, coal or peat.


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