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Displaying items by tag: Carrick On Shannon

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all masters and users of the Shannon Navigation of navigation and mooring restrictions in Carrick-on-Shannon to facilitate the Carrick Rowing Regatta on Sunday 31 July.

The regatta, hosted by Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club, will be held on a 500-metre stretch of water immediately south of the town bridge commencing at 9am and finishing at around 6pm.

Craft wishing to make a through passage will be facilitated approximately every two hours during the course of the regatta.

Only vessels of an overall length of 22ft/6.8m or less are currently permitted on the floating jetties until the completion of the regatta. This is necessary in the interest of marine safety and to facilitate the laying of the competition course.

Vessels berthed from 4pm on Wednesday 27 July will be required to remain in place until racing finishes on Sunday.

Masters are advised to proceed at slow speed and with due caution and to take note of advice from course marshals when passing through the area.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all masters of vessels and water users that the Head of the Shannon rowing event will take place on Saturday 4 December.

The event will take place downstream of Carrick-on-Shannon bridge for a distance of 3.5km.

The rowing starts at navigation maker known locally as White Woman/White Lady and will proceed back to the Marina downstream of of the bridge.

Rowing events will take place at 11am and 2pm on the day.

Masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the rowing events.

Published in Rowing

Leitrim County Council has recently improved shoreside access to its Carrick on Shannon public marina, replacing its existing fixed boardwalk with a new 340m long by 2.4m wide floating walkway.

Working with Deane Public Works, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS), designed and manufactured the new installation which includes a 3m wide fuel berth and eight access gangways with lifebuoy housings and safety ladders, all anchored in place by a new piled mooring system.

The heavy-duty pontoon system, topped with ICMS’ unique glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) decking, provides safe and non-slip, all-year-round access to the marina’s on-site facilities for the public and all leisure boat users, which includes local boat hire companies.

“Being a very popular cruising area, it was important that we completed the installation with as minimal disruption as possible to the local access,” says Ger Buckley, project engineer at ICMS. “We achieved this by taking a phased approach, closely liaising with all contractors and programming the activities in.”

Wrapping around the entire length of the marina site, the public boardwalk now connects the quayside to the access road and car park, allowing users to enter the marina via a new gangway on the eastern side, and exit on the northern side.

“We’re delighted with the quality of the new boardwalk, an attractive upgrade to the waterfront providing a strong, stable walkway for visitors,” says Shay O’Connor, senior engineer with Leitrim County Council. “Even though conditions were challenging at times with access routes being periodically submerged, the team at Inland and Coastal completed the installation efficiently and without disrupting the activities of the regular commercial users of the marina.

“The boardwalk will provide a new walking route along the waterfront for both locals and visitors and new access for users of leisure vessels which cruise along this section of the River Shannon, boosting the tourist industry which plays a major role here in Carrick on Shannon’s economy.”

To find out more about Inland and Coastal’s pontoon ranges and unique decking options visit here

Published in Irish Marinas

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that essential diving operations will take place on behalf of Leitrim County Council at Carrick-on-Shannon tomorrow, Monday 11 January, from 11am to 2pm.

Following on from dives scheduled for last month, locations of the diving operations are along the quay wall some 30 metres downstream and upstream of the bridge, and along the quay wall near the boat club.

Masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and all inland waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of these diving operations.

Published in Inland Waterways

Rowing clubs along the Shannon have been badly affected by high water levels. Carrick on Shannon and Athlone have both been hit, while Castleconnell is flooded. This came despite pumping. The gym equipment had been moved out and the boats are stored higher up the bank.

This ESB at Ardnacrusha stated: “Due to heavy rainfall in the catchment we will be increasing discharge from Parteen Weir. You are being notified that water is about to be discharged above 325 m3/sec. This will result in flooding of roads, land and may affect property. You are advised to be aware of increased flows in the river as a result of this water discharge. Further increases in discharge may be required. Approx. 400 m3/sec will be discharged.”

Published in Rowing
#Rowing: Two junior crews which are set to represent Ireland this season had good wins in Saturday's second session at Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre. The junior women's quadruple of Anna Tyther (Killorglin), Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, Aoife Lynch of Lee and Lucy McCoy of Belfast Boat Club beat the UCC/Skibbereen seniors: Orla Hayes, Niamh Casey, Aoife Casey and Lydia Heaphy. The junior men's coxed four, which is set to compete at the World Junior Championships, also won their Division One final. At Portadown, the good run by Carrick on Shannon continued, as their junior women's double and quad won, adding to the win in the junior single by Shauna Murtagh.
Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The weather held up well for both the Muckross Head of the River and the Head of the Shannon at Carrick on Shannon today.

 Shandon’s men’s intermediate eight topped the Muckross provisional rankings at the National Rowing Centre, while their men’s senior quadruple and men’s club eight placed fifth and sixth. UCC’s women’s club eight were the fastest women’s crew.

 The Coláiste Iognáid men’s junior 18 eight took the honours at Carrick on Shannon. They competed in the second head, at 2 o’clock, which had the superior weather conditions. Commercial’s men’s senior eight took second.

Published in Rowing

#blueway – Minister Heather Humphreys TD, and actor & producer Carrie Crowley joined with over 300 walkers and paddlers to open the Shannon Blueway today in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Shannon Blueway runs from Drumshanbo through Battlebridge and Leitrim Village to Carrick on Shannon. It includes 16.5km of water trail and over 10km of walking routes in three loops. The Shannon Blueway provides a range of recreational leisure activities such as walking, cycling, canoeing, fishing and cruising all linked by the waterways to local towns and villages.
Minister Heather Humphrey's stated "I am delighted to be launching this project here in Leitrim today. The Shannon Blueway has the potential to have a very positive impact on jobs and the regional economy. The Mayo Greenway, which is now in its 4th year of operation, has seen a jump in visitor numbers from 80,000 in 2011 to 300,000 in 2014. That means an extra €5 million was brought into the region. With the market for off road adventure tourism is growing here in Ireland and internationally, Leitrim is in a prime position to benefit from this trend.
The launch of the Blueway will allow local businesses can capitalise on an increase in demand for transport, equipment hire, accommodation and entertainment. I would like to commend Waterways Ireland for this initiative, which I have no doubt will have a very position impact on the region."
Carrie Crowley said "as a self-confessed blow-in to the area, the Shannon, the wonderful countryside and Leitrim people have provided me with a tranquil and inspirational place to work and home away from home .The only problem is, now our secret is out!"
The Shannon Blueway is the first of its kind in Ireland where a myriad of recreational activities have been developed and bundled together as a single or multiple visitor experience and tourism proposition. Waterways Ireland has, using the wonderful waterway assets, developed and built a canoe trail from Drumshanbo through Battlebridge and Leitrim Village to Carrick on Shannon. It has also developed a series of looped walks adjacent to the Lough Allen Canal with plans to expand those walks to Drumshanbo and Carrick on Shannon. At the same time Waterways Ireland is also developing a canoe trail from Leitrim Village along the 63km of the Shannon Erne Waterway with a walking and cycling trail also at an advanced stage of planning.
The Shannon Blueway is being delivered by Waterways Ireland in partnership of the National Trails Office, Canoeing Ireland, Leitrim County Council, Leitrim Tourism and Fáilte Ireland.

shannon_blueway_leitrim3.jpg

Minister Heather Humphreys TD, and WI Chief Executive Dawn Livingstone 

Chief Executive Dawn Livingstone confirmed that partnership was the key to delivering the Shannon Blueway "Waterways Ireland has invested significantly in creating world beating facilities and services on the Shannon Navigation. Through our partnership with the National Trails Office, Canoeing Ireland, Leitrim Tourism and Leitrim County Council an outstanding multi-activity product has been built in the Shannon Blueway which is now being packaged by clubs and communities for their recreational activities and companies and organisations for domestic and international tourists. Partnership is key to delivering the future of the Shannon Blueway further into Leitrim, and indeed into Roscommon, Longford and Cavan."
The wider Shannon Blueway of which the Drumshanbo to Carrick on Shannon section is part, is at the heart of access to 100km of paddling area, 6 looped walks: 3 of which are on the canal towpath, two long distance walks and three heritage trails. The Shannon Blueway will ultimately provide access to 14 towns and services with each access point and town within an hours' paddling time.

shannon_blueway_leitrim2.jpg

300 paddlers joined the ShannonBlueway launch

Waterways Ireland and Leitrim Co Co will shortly be examining the possibility of providing a connection from the jetties at Acres Lake to the canal towpaths and also to complete the walking/cycling connection to Carrick-on-Shannon, and up the Shannon-Erne Waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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