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Fact File

At FuturEnergy Ireland, we work hard to be good, long-standing neighbours and develop wind farm projects in a responsible and respectful manner so that local communities, as well as Ireland as a whole, can benefit. As a team, we value and respect honest, straightforward engagements.

There is much information in circulation on the important issues associated with wind farms but not all of it can be relied upon with confidence. Here we have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about wind farms, backed up with scientific studies, independent references and peer-reviewed research. We have also added answers to questions raised by the local community since the Scart Mountain project launched.

If you still have questions or would like further information on any of the topics we cover below, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Please explain the relationship between ESB, Coillte and FuturEnergy Ireland?

2. Does FuturEnergy Ireland have previous experience building wind farms?

3. Who are the project Community Liaison Officers (John O’Halloran and Liam Cleary) employed by?

4. Why do we need onshore wind farms?

5. Why is FuturEnergy Ireland developing a wind farm in an area that has recently been designated as “no-go” for wind energy by Waterford County Council?

6. How can I be kept up to date on this project?

7. Can you explain the planning application process?

8. Are wind turbines noisy?

9. What is shadow flicker?

10. Do wind farms have health impacts?

11. Will a wind farm nearby impact property value?

12. What is the Community Benefit Fund?

13. Are there opportunities to invest in wind farms?

14. Has a Stage 1 screening under the Habitats Directive been completed for the intended project? 

15. What material has been compiled for the purpose of assessing the environmental impact of the proposed project?

16. Is the draft Planning Application available for the community to view? 

17. What is the proposed make, number and type of turbines, including their power capacity (MW) and dimensions?

18. What is the proposed layout for turbine locations on the proposed site?

19. When will noise contour maps be available and how are they put together?

20. What are the plans for new temporary and permanent roads and when will this information be made available?

21. How long will the construction phase and the operational phase of the wind farm be?

22. What will be the impact of construction traffic in and around the project site?

23. Will there be a new substation for this proposed wind farm and if so, what size will it be?

24. What is the impact of additional asynchronous generation capacity on the local EirGrid system?

25. How many permanent jobs will be created?

26. How will the environmental impacts such as ecological, shadow flicker, cultural heritage and visual impact of the proposed wind farm be assessed?

27. When will ZTV images be available to residents so that they can understand how visible the turbines will be?

28. When will visualisations be available showing the wind farm visibility from towns and villages in the area?

29. What guidance document or best practice standards will the noise assessment be based on?

30. Will the project design be based on the 2006 Wind Energy Guidelines that are currently in force, or the Draft Wind Energy Guidelines published in 2019 that are still under review by Government?

Project Phases

It is important to understand the length of time it takes to develop a wind farm project.  Renewable energy projects generally take anywhere from 6-10 years from project initiation to start of operation. The reason for this can be attributed to a myriad of challenges – obtaining planning permission, securing a grid connection, securing project finance and a guaranteed contract to sell the power.

Within the overall development cycle, the task of designing and making a submission for planning permission can take between 12 and 18 months.

Our Core Principles

  • Fighting the Climate Crisis
  • Rural Regeneration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Protecting the Environment
Click on the Interactive table to find out more 2. DESIGN PHASE (c. 12-18 months) PLANNING DECISION (c. 6-24 months) 4. CONSTRUCTION PHASE (c. 18-24 motnhs) 5. OPERATIONAL PHASE (30 years +) (c. 18-40 months) 3. PRE- CONSTRUCTION PHASE 6 . DECOMMIS- SIONING PHASE 1. CONCEPT PHASE

1. Concept Phase

We continuously look at Coillte lands and seek opportunities for renewable energy development.

What’s happening

A land screening process that considers:

  • The wind resource on our lands.
  • County Development Plan designation.
  • Proximity to grid infrastructure.
  • Site size after applying a buffer of 750 metres or four times the tip height to dwellings.
  • Undertaking specific targeted studies on high potential sites to further de-risk and to identify the very best for progression.
  • Potentially increasing a site’s suitability by bringing in adjacent neighbouring lands.

Who we engage with and how

This is primarily a desk-based exercise that is informed by national, regional and local climate and energy policies and targets. In this step, we may engage with policymakers, land owners and others seeking to start similar developments.

2. Project Design Phase

Following widespread local engagement and detailed site surveys, we design the wind farm layout respecting environmental sensitivities and residents who live nearby.

Activity & Stakeholder Engagement Process

3. Pre-construction Phase

We secure approval from EirGrid to connect to the national grid, secure a route to market for selling the electricity generated and finalise the business proposition, including relevant funding model. In parallel, we undertake pre-construction environmental surveys and work in collaboration with the local community to design the benefit fund and minimise disruption.

Activity & Stakeholder Engagement Process

4. Construction Phase

We construct the wind farm to the highest standards while minimising impacts on the host community and the environment.

Activity

5. Operational Phase

The wind farm produces clean, green electricity and shares the financial benefits with the host community.*

Activity & Stakeholder Engagement Process

6. Decommissioning Phase

We construct the wind farm to the highest standards while minimising impacts on the host community and the environment.

Activity