SOUTH EAST COASTAL PROTECTION ALLIANCE
South East Coastal Protection Alliance is a voluntary group composed of local residents and concerned individuals, who are worried about the possible devastating impact that developing a wind farm on the Arklow Bank and other sand banks along the South-East coast will have on the coastal environment. This is an environmental conservation organisation.
THE PROPOSED TURBINE PLAN
ARKLOW BANK PROPOSAL BY SURE PARTNERS LTD (SSE RENEWABLES)
65 Turbines – 197m High
CODLING BANK PROPOSAL BY EDF ENERGIES & FRED OLSEN (Codling Wind Park Ltd)
140 Turbines – 302m High
Detrimental effect on the environment
The Arklow sand banks have been formed over millennia by sand being carried up the east coast of Ireland, deposited on sandbanks and forming the beaches and sand dunes. The sandbanks form a buffer against tides, storms and rising seas. They also are central to replenishing the sand on our beaches along the south east coast. If wind turbines are erected on these sandbanks, we believe they will seriously interfere with this natural process and lead to the decimation of beaches and sand dunes.
SECPA is in favour of wind energy as a renewable source but object to these proposed projects on the sandbanks and believe that, while intending to solve one environmental problem, an even greater problem will be created.
Offshore wind farms are vast industrial complexes. Typically, they involve the following:
Tourism could be badly affected if, as we fear, the sandy beaches on the Wicklow/Wexford coast will be washed away as a result of building 76 wind turbines on the Arklow sandbank.
DAMAGE TO SANDBANKS AND COAST
A wind farm should not be built on the sandbank which should instead be designated as marine protected area.
Construction/maintenance work etc on the turbines will cause untold damage to the sandbank, which has been a natural defence for the preservation of the beaches & sand dunes along the east coast for millennia.
The sandbanks should be designated as marine protected areas and consequently, should NOT have wind farms built on them.
Horizon pollution will be caused by these turbines which are to be located so close to the shore (6-13km). The existing 7 turbines are 10km from the coast and are much smaller than the proposed turbines.
Throughout Europe, the trend for new massive, large scale wind farms is to situate them further offshore.
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
These sandbanks are natural formations and a recognised marine habitat. The Arklow Sandbank should be designated as a marine protected area along with the existing Marine SACs (Longbank & Blackwater sandbanks).
The Wicklow/Wexford coastline has many Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas which are protected under EU law and are now in danger.
Site Name: Bray Head SAC (000714)
Site Name: Buckroney-Brittas Dunes and Fen SAC (000729)
Site Name: Carriggower Bog SAC (000716)
Site Name: Kilpatrick Sandhills SAC (001742)
Site Name: Magherabeg Dunes SAC (001766)
Site Name: The Murrough SPA (004186)
Site Name: The Murrough Wetlands SAC (002249)
Site Name: Wicklow Head SPA (004127)
Site Name: Wicklow Reef SAC (002274)
Site Name: Ballyteige Burrow SAC (000696)
Site Name: Ballyteige Burrow SPA (004020)
Site Name: Bannow Bay SAC (000697)
Site Name: Bannow Bay SPA (004033)
Site Name: Blackwater Bank SAC (002953)
Site Name: Cahore Marshes SPA (004143)
Site Name: Cahore Polders and Dunes SAC (000700)
Site Name: Carnsore Point SAC (002269)
Site Name: Hook Head SAC (000764)
KITTIWAKES, WHALES & DOLPHINS
Offshore wind farms pose a significant danger to Kittiwakes because they fly up to 40km from land to feed. They are protected by EU Birds Directive and 4 other international agreements and unfortunately, are now on a Red List of threatened bird species.
Mammals such as porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, northern right whales, harbour seals and baleen whales can be disturbed by specific frequencies of underwater noise.
Damage to the coastline and the eco systems
The sandbanks are a habitat for marine life and a feeding ground for birds and contribute to the natural supply of replacement sand for beaches and sand dunes.
The process of consenting to wind energy development on the foreshore to date, including Arklow Bank, has been developer-led and not plan-led. This approach is not in the public interest and may lead to sacrificing the existing Arklow Bank habitat, beaches, and sand dunes to the interests of a short-term gain.
The existing 7 turbines have already had an impact on the Arklow Bank.
Shortly after construction in 2004 it was found that the tides scoured the sand from the base of the turbines, and this had to be repaired. In addition, in 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted a dumping at sea permit to remove 99,999 tonnes of sand from the vicinity of the turbines.
Imagine what damage 76 of these turbines would do.
Windfarms located so close to the shore, as proposed on the Arklow Bank and Codling Bank, are not environmentally acceptable and the certain damage to the coastline and the eco systems will not be forgiven by the Irish people in generations to come.
For physical height illustrative purposes only
Note: Wind turbines placed off the South East coast will be 197m – 302m tall
Use the slider to view before and after images for proposed new turbine plan
22km Wind turbine free zone off the South East coast
A 22km wind turbine free zone aligns with EU best-practices, to protect biodiversity, our local fishing economy, our stunning seascapes and our tourism industry.
We are in favour of offshore wind projects that do not negatively impact our communities.
This developer led proposal dating from the mid-1990s is outdated. More recent engineering developments in floating turbine technology should be used instead.
We believe that the solution is to move the Wind Farm away from the sandbanks and use floating platforms instead. This is technically and commercially possible and the use of this method of construction is being proposed by the ESB at Moneypoint, on the West Coast of Ireland.
Floating Platforms are the preferred option of the EU and not one other EU country has placed offshore windfarms so close to the shore.
TURBINES POSITIONED 8KM FROM SHORE
TURBINES POSITIONED 23KM FROM SHORE
Wind Farms must be built on floating platforms further out to sea to protect the Wicklow and Wexford Coast that are already under serious threat because of Global Warming and Rising Sea levels.
An example of a successful campaign
The US is currently building offshore wind developments having reviewed their permitting system following widespread concern about the impact of the first US offshore wind farm (a 460MW project with 130 turbines), proposed by a private developer in Nantucket Sound in 2001. The proposal was rejected and the campaign to protect the Sound continues. See Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.