Where will the turbines (substation, cable routes, etc) be located?
The ongoing ecological surveys will inform the proposed locations of the turbines. When these surveys are finalised and the locations known, we will once again reach out to the community and engage on this next step of the ongoing consultation –we hope this will be in July of this year.
Will I experience shadow flicker?
No, as shadow flicker is no longer allowed under the new Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines December 2019.
Under the new Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines December 2019 (section 7.16) “no existing dwelling or other affected property (e.g. existing work places or schools) should experience shadow flicker.”
(See Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines December 2019)
Are the turbines noisy? What will the predicted noise levels be at our house?
We have had noise monitoring stations at various locations around the site at measuring background noise. The background noise data will inform the proposed location of the turbines.
According to the Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines December 2019 (Section 5.7.4) “the …. proposed noise restriction limits consistent with World Health Organisation Guidelines, proposing a relative rated noise limit of 5dB(A) above existing background noise within the range of 35 to 43dB(A), with 43dB(A) being the maximum noise limit permitted, day or night. The noise limits will apply to outdoor locations at any residential or noise sensitive properties.”
(See Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines December 2019)
Will property prices be effected?
There have been studies undertaken around the world where wind farms are located which show little or some negative affect on property prices. (see website for these studies here). There has not been any peer reviewed study done in Ireland so far about the effect of a wind farm on property prices. We do not know what effects being near to a wind farm will have on property prices.
What are the turbines made from and are the turbines recyclable?
92% of the turbine is made of metal (steel, aluminium, copper and alloys) all of which are all very recyclable and valuable at end of life. Electronics and electrics are recyclable and the fluids and lubricants used are disposed of according to relevant disposal guidance for each fluid. Read more here.
The blades themselves are made primarily from fibre glass (3.9% of the remainder of the turbine is fibreglass (glass carbon composite) and 3.6% are polymer materials) and these can be repurposed or recycled in a number of ways. The blades can be repurposed in sections, such as in engineering projects as part of powerline structures or towers, or roofs for emergency or affordable housing. Blade sections can be used to make bicycle sheds and playgrounds.
The fibreglass itself can be recycled by being crushed and used again to make fibreglass materials. Crushed fibreglass can be used as “feedstock” that is mixed with other components to form a new material such as composite manhole covers, waterproof flooring material, warehouse pallets, picnic tables, fencing, even sea walls and parking bollards.
What is the lifespan of turbines and what happens the turbines at end of the life of the windfarm?
Turbines have a life span of 30 to 35 years. At the end of life, the turbines have value as they are primarily made from metals and they will be recycled as scrap metal. As part of planning conditions, Clare Co. Co. may also hold a bond from RWE to ensure the finances are in place to have them decommissioned / removed.
Will all correspondence be submitted as part of the planning process
As part of the community engagement process we will be summarising the results of communications with the local community and the team. Questions asked, meetings held, correspondence received and replied to will be part of the submission.
Have the environmental studies (on birds and bats) been completed yet?
The ecological studies including studies on birds and bats has not yet been completed and should be completed in the coming months. 24 months of birds surveys is required before we can complete the EIAR. This will inform the placement of the turbines, substation.
Will there be flooding risks or risks to groundwater from the turbines?
As part of the EIAR, flood risks will be assessed and taken into consideration and will be used in the next stage of the process.
Why was Fahy Beg chosen for a windfarm?
The area was chosen for a number of reasons. The land is in an area designated in the Clare Co. Development Plan Wind Energy Strategy as “open to consideration”. The study area does not contain areas designated as European Protected Natura 2000 sites – it is not a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or a Special Protection Area (SPA) and does not contain any nationally designated Natural Heritage Areas (NHA). It has available lands to accommodate a wind farm while keeping an appropriate distance from houses in line with Government guidelines and has good wind speeds.
What will be the impact on Ballymoloney Wood?
The environmental studies and the EIAR will outline what potential effects the proposed wind farm may have on Ballmoloney Wood which should be minimal and we will inform residents in the next consultation phase as to what, if any, are the effects.
Who will manage the Community Benefit Fund (CBF) if the wind farm gets planning permission and will there be real benefits to the community from the fund?
The handbook for Community Benefit funds – “Renewable Energy Scheme Good Practice Principals for Community Benefit Funds” gives guidance for developers and communities about how the CBF should be organised and run. RWE will advocate the use of a third party to administer the fund and the Government has appointed the SEAI as the Funds Support, Oversight and Compliance body and as such has a key role in supporting the successful delivery of Funds.
These guidelines are out for consultation at the moment and could change as we go from RESS1 and RESS 2 and any renewable energy support schemes going forward.
(See Renewable Energy Scheme Good Practice Principals for Community Benefit Funds)
Construction noise / traffic disruption during construction.
It take approximately 18 months to construct a wind farm and during this time RWE will ensure that construction operations will take place as per the planning conditions, RWE will provide more details on the potential traffic movements during the construction period.
How much is RWE investing in Fahy Beg windfarm?
Investment in the proposed wind farm and local communities is expected to be in the region of €30 million over the lifetime of the windfarm.
What is Community Shared Ownership? How does Investing in windfarms work?
We understand the Government are at present exploring how community investment in windfarms might work as part of the next Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction. Until the investment process is clarified we do not know how investment will be organised or who will be responsible. We await clarification from Government on how investment in windfarms might work under the RESS scheme. RWE is very keen to be involved in a community investment scheme once the regulations are developed by Government.
Will there be an impact on broadband reception in the area?
Under the planning regulations the addition of structures in any area should not interfere with broadband reception in the area. RWE is also investigating whether broadband could be improved in the area and is undergoing studies to see if the service could be improved using the proposed new structures on site.
What is the breakdown of turbine materials and what is their scrap value*?
(*Scrap value taken from two UK scrap websites. Prices are from June 2021)
Turbine manufacturer Vestas gives a breakdown of the components (see graphic above) of a Vestas V136 on their website.
The turbine weighs 566 tonnes and the amount of materials in each based on the percentages above is as follows:
Estimated scrap value of each turbine from the websites quoted above is approximately £76,800 sterling.
(See Vestas – Breakdown of Turbine Materials)