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Displaying items by tag: Crosshaven Boatyard

Dufour Yachts and Crosshaven Boatyard are back with a bang at Southampton Boat Show, presenting five yachts, including the fabulous new Dufour 470 and the Dufour 56.

Crosshaven Boatyard is announcing amazing Boat Show 'bundle' offers for all yacht orders placed at the show or before 31 November. These free equipment packs are worth between €10,000 and €50,000, depending on the model, and will enhance the features, onboard facilities and the overall value of your new Dufour.

Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard explains, "The demand for new yachts has increased everywhere and our amazing value Autumn equipment bundles are timed to help owners secure a new build slot for Autumn 2022 for guaranteed sailing in the 2023 sailing season. Plus, they will benefit from fabulous free extras, such as enhanced sail controls, additional electronics and audio equipment, interior and cockpit furnishings.

Dufour 470Dufour 470

Dufour Yachts are also taking every precaution for show visitors to have a safe and comfortable visit and are running a private appointment system. These half-hour slots mean visitors can view a boat at their leisure and speak directly with one of the team. Book a viewing slot here https://bit.ly/2YAt5KB

The free high spec equipment bundles with all Dufour Yachts ordered at the Southampton Boat Show – berths M315-325

Dufour 470Dufour 470

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

Recently launched in La Rochelle, the new Dufour 470 model will tour France and then Europe, as well as the United States, Australia and Asia in its worldwide launch.

"The 470 represents continuing advancements with the Dufour range of yachts", according to Irish agent Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard who told Afloat "the cockpit is enormous and well thought out as is her interior".

The Dufour 470 feels and looks like a 50 footer both inside and outThe Dufour 470 feels and looks like a 50 footer both inside and out

If not yet in the flesh, then Paris Virtual Nautic is the first opportunity at least to visit this new model thanks to an on-screen boat show environment using the Dufour virtual Marina interface launched last April, and now optimised with new features and layout choices.

Cork Harbour based Mockler also says of the new marque, "she feels and looks like a 50-footer both inside and out. Like her sisters, she is quick and easy to handle".

Dufour 470 - cockpit is enormous and well thought out as is her interiorDufour 470 - cockpit is enormous and well thought out as is her interior

Mockler also says her list of options are endless which means you have the opportunity to have her set up for easy cruising or for even more performance.

Delivery times are already moving rapidly into 2022, Mockler says.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

Green Rebel Marine has joined forces with My Canine Companion to support families around Ireland living with autism.

My Canine Companion is an Irish charity that provides accredited service dogs to people with disabilities, predominantly autism. In addition, they provide a range of therapy dog services and autism awareness programmes. They are the largest provider of this service in Ireland with the highest success training rate.

Mark O’Reilly from Green Rebel Marine said: “We are delighted to be able to support the fantastic work of My Canine Companion. Service Dogs make dramatic differences in the quality of life for children with Autism and their families. We are looking forward to working together this year and helping families all around Ireland.”

CEO of My Canine Companion Niall Ruddy said: “Our aim is to enhance the quality of life for people with difficulties predominately autism through the provision of highly qualified service dogs. We also have plans to roll out additional group and individual therapy services to complement our current therapy services in schools, nursing homes etc. We will further develop our awareness programmes including our work with Irish towns and communities to help them become not only autism-friendly but autism responsive. Our partnership with Green Rebel Marine is so important to us in these areas as we seek to together improve both autism services and awareness".

My Canine Companion was set up in Blarney Cork in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Cliona O’Rourke and Niall Ruddy. The organisation is now headquartered in Blackpool, Cork and provides a nationwide service including the provision of over 60% of Ireland's autism service/assistance dogs.

Cliona was the first person in Europe to train a dog specifically for a child with autism in 2004. Cliona travelled to Canada to observe the Canadian autism service dog programme before developing the first European programme in Ireland in 2004/2005. Cliona has since helped several European schools develop their programmes.

Annually My Canine Companions provides over 60% of Ireland's service/assistance dogs to children with autism. The balance is provided by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind 33% and Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland 7%. MCC qualifies an average of 45 autism service dog partnerships per year and currently have 275 working dog partnerships in Ireland. (November 2020).

My Canine Companion does not charge families for the provision of our service dog programmes. However, the cost to the charity of providing their fully qualified service dogs over a two-year programme and continuing lifetime support is €10,000.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

Dufour’s new Flagship, the sleek-looking Dufour 61 designed by Felci Yacht Design, will be undertaking sea trials in the next few weeks in La Rochelle. The new Dufour 61 will be quick but stable and very easy to handle, according to Irish agent Hugh Mockler of Crossghaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour.

Her sail controls are lead back to each helm station for easy access. Her mainsheet is on an arch which allows a better sheeting angle and keeps it clear of the cockpit. She has an excellent choice of sail configurations, including the option of in-mast furling mainsail and self-tacking jib.

Dufour 61 aft cockpit bed and table. There is plenty of seating and sunbathing areas, both around the central cockpit table and on a stunning aft sun-loungerThe Dufour 61's aft cockpit bed and table. There is plenty of seating and sunbathing areas, both around the central cockpit table and on a stunning aft sun-lounger

Her many advantages include a large dinghy garage, spacious cockpit, sunbathing areas, two cockpit tables and large windows giving loads of light to her amazing saloon. She has a number of layout options below including the forward galley which Dufour have perfected with the option of an aft galley. Dufour have also given her an even more luxurious feel below by adding extra soft furnishings and more upmarket fittings. She also has an endless list of option i.e. bow and stern thrusters, generator, water-maker the list goes on!

Dufour 61's bathing platform, bbq and garage.There is easy access direct to the aft bathing platform and large dinghy garage, suitable for housing a tender and life raft.Dufour 61's bathing platform, bbq and garage.There is easy access direct to the aft bathing platform and large dinghy garage, suitable for housing a tender and life raft.

Mockler says that as soon as travel restrictions are lifted and travel is safe, it will be possible to set up a sail test in La Rochelle. Dufour’s plan at the moment is to present the yacht at Boot Dusseldorf in April and then undertake a tour of the Mediterranean. The new Dufour 61 with an overall length of 63 feet will certainly turn a few heads”.

Dufour 61's aft sunbeds. There is plenty of seating and sunbathing areas, both around the central cockpit table and on a stunning aft sun-lounger, situated between the two helm stations, and  cleverly designed to also convert into another table with bench seatsDufour 61's aft sunbeds. There is plenty of seating and sunbathing areas, both around the central cockpit table and on a stunning aft sun-lounger, situated between the two helm stations, and cleverly designed to also convert into another table with bench seats

Design and build process

On smaller yachts, typically their design incorporates an inner matrix system that is bonded to the hull to create the required core strength. With the increased loads of a yacht the size of the '61 it is necessary to create a much stronger, rigid structure that will sail upwind without deflection or movement of the internal components. To create this, the hull has been made from a monobloc structure using an 'infusion process' which allows exact control of the production process. The main bulkheads are made from solid GRP and laminated directly onto the hull and deck, all of which create a highly robust single structure, stiff hull and deck for ultimate sailing performance which Dufour consider essential for a yacht of this size.

Hull & sail plan

Long hull chines offer a stable hull with increased performance as well as creating added volume below decks, all set off with Dufour's signature half-butterfly portholes.

With an overall sail area of 170m2, the yacht is supplied with optional in-mast or a traditional mainsail, self-tacking or overlapping headsails plus options to fly a variety of downwind sails from the integrated fixed bowsprit.

Deck layout

The coach roof ends at the mast base to create a clean and spacious foredeck and wide side decks allow easy movement around the deck. Importantly, the hull to deck joint is fully hidden with the teak side decks elegantly disguising the moulding lines

Numerous hand-holds together with a raised bulwark give greater security when moving around the deck at sea. Integrated in the bulwarks are smart courtesy lights to illuminate the decks at night.

Generous natural light floods below decks through a single moulded black plexiglass roof, which contrasts beautifully with the side decks and coachroof.

Cockpit layout

The cockpit has been carefully designed to separate the functional elements of sailing with other areas offered for relaxation.

All the hidden control lines run under the decks and are led aft to each helm station, both with large seats offering better comfort when sailing and all the necessary instrumentation equipment to ensure safe and easy navigation.

Movement around the cockpit is simple and unhindered, with large, moulded steps integrated into the coaming for safe and easy access up to the side decks.

An innovative split bimini allows easy circulation on board, without ducking or restricted headroom. The black carbon fibre arch clears the cockpit and entrance below as well as allowing the mainsheet control system to be at the end of the boom for less pressure and easier control.

With a spacious cockpit, fully enclosed on both sides, there is easy access direct to the aft bathing platform and large dinghy garage, suitable for housing a tender and life raft.

There is plenty of seating and sunbathing areas, both around the central cockpit table and on a stunning aft sun-lounger, situated between the two helm stations, and cleverly designed to also convert into another table with bench seats. It's the perfect spot, at the back of the cockpit, for breakfast or refreshments after a swim from the generous bathing platform. Beneath this rear bench sits the now legendary Dufour exterior galley, with barbeque, sink and fridge – for relaxed alfresco catering and socialising.

Below decks

The key distinction between the two layouts is the option to choose between a forward or aft galley layout.

In broad terms, the forward galley layout is intended for those owners not requiring a dedicated skipper's cabin aft. Generously appointed, the galley integrates with the main living space enabling sociable catering and hospitality, perfect for hosting families and friends. With a traditional layout of 2 aft double guest cabins, a generous master cabin forward and optional side Pullman cabin, there is also the option for a crew cabin forward, that is accessed from on deck.

Alternatively, the discreetly positioned port side aft galley which leads to a dedicated skipper's cabin, is the ideal layout for onboard catering and hosting. Again, there are additional Pullman cabin options to maximise accommodation.

On all models the master cabin is as luxurious as it is spacious, offering private relaxation space, as well as plenty of large wardrobe and storage cupboards. The beds are full 'home-sized' and come with real mattresses and optional slatted bases for support and ventilation.

Both layouts offer a generous and spacious interior living area and galleys with excellent storage space and a high-capacity fridge/freezer.

As is a now a familiar signature of all modern Dufour models, the cabins and living areas are flooded with plenty of natural daylight through large windows, deck hatches and portholes.

A dedicated navigation table is situated in the main saloon, along with a large bench sofa and an extendable dining table with extensive seating capacity. High quality wood is used throughout with a choice of interior woods and finishes.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

With the rise in COVID-19 cases and in line with Government guidelines, Crosshaven Boatyard has no option but to close its gates for the time being.

In a statement on social media, the Cork Harbour boatyard appealed for private boat owners to have patience under the current restrictions, which will remain in place until at the least the end of January.

Those within the 5km travel radius may visit to check on their vessels, but are asked to come alone and not to carry out any works.

“If for any reason you feel the need to have your boat checked, please contact the office and we can arrange one of our staff to do this on your behalf,” the boatyard said, adding that staff will be at hand for emergency haul-outs.

The boatyard will also still support essential services such as commercial fishing, Department of Defence, science and research, the RNLI and Port of Cork.

The team added: “Finally we would like to thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all back in the water boating once again. Stay safe.”

Crosshaven Boatyard recently changed hands, and new owner Pearse Flynn shared details of his plans to make its facilities the backbone of offshore wind farm services.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

Green Rebel Marine with a base at Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour has announced the €1.5 million purchase of a DA42 multi-purpose aircraft to conduct aerial surveys off the Irish coast.

Thousands of square miles of ocean are due to undergo ecological assessment as part of the planning process for offshore wind farms

The new aircraft will be based at Cork Airport, and will result in the creation of fifteen new jobs. These jobs are in addition to the eighty announced by Green Rebel Marine in September. 

With the purchase of its own survey aircraft, Green Rebel Marine will be the only domestic Irish company offering digital aerial surveys for offshore wind development companies. 

The twin-engined DA42 MPP is rated as best in class in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions, and is equipped with high-performance aerial cameras to conduct ecological surveys. 

Green Rebel Marine was established earlier this year to service the future needs of offshore wind farms. The company has already acquired Crosshaven Boatyard in County Cork, and the first in a fleet of survey vessels, the Bibby Athena.

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the coast from Dundalk in County Louth, to the Cork coast and beyond. Their construction will not only increase Ireland’s ability to produce renewable energy, it will also create an entire new sector dedicated to servicing their operation. 

Sarah Kandrot, Head of Aerial Surveys with Green Rebel Marine, says, “Off-shore energy is part of the green revolution, however the granting of licences for these wind farms is dependent on detailed surveys of the ocean to catalogue the ecology of the target areas. The purchase of this aircraft means that large sections can be digitally surveyed over a shorter period of time, with the aircraft flying at heights that will not disturb birds or marine megafauna. Ultimately, the information we compile will ensure that offshore wind farms are built in the best locations to protect the ecology of the ocean.” 

Green Rebel Marine founder Pearse Flynn says, “The purchase of the survey aircraft, along with the first in our fleet of survey vessels, means that Green Rebel Marine is leading the charge towards sustainable and renewable energy off the Irish coast. This is an industry that will sustain thousands of jobs while transforming Ireland into a net generator of electricity. The oceans around Ireland are a vital resource, and the quality survey work being undertaken by Green Rebel Marine will help to both protect that resource while harnessing its potential.” 

The Green Rebel Marine aircraft will be permanently based at Cork Airport once it enters full-time operation early next year.

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, said: “2020 has been a tough year for everybody so it’s great to be starting 2021 with a good news story. Recovery and jobs will be THE theme for 2021 and an aircraft based with us in Cork which helps create new jobs particularly in the green energy sector is very welcome. The Green Rebel Marine Diamond Aviation 42 aircraft will be based at the Weston General Aviation Hangar at Cork Airport and we wish them every success in this exciting new offshore wind venture.”

Published in Power From the Sea

The photomontage published in Afloat a week ago of 60 'supersize' wind turbines planned for Dublin Bay should raise substantial debate about the impact of offshore wind farms on Irish waters and the activities in them – sailing, leisure marine, fishing and commercial.

There are so many proposals now being forward, with billions of Euros involved, in response to the Government's stated intention to drive forward wind energy, that it becomes challenging to keep track of them all. "Public consultation" is promised, but what does that exactly mean and how effective is this process?

The proposal for the Kish and Bray Banks is about six nautical miles offshore, so for many leisure mariners that might not seem to be considered as a major issue, or problem. However, the 60 turbines would be 310 metres in height - over a thousand feet - pretty substantial on the seascape.

Dublin Array: Likely view from Dún Laoghaire towards Sandycove and out towards the Kish Bank.Dublin Array: Likely view from Dún Laoghaire towards Sandycove and out towards the Kish Bank.

The Arklow Bank Wind Park, as it's called, is also six miles offshore. Phase 2, for 76 turbines, is under public consultation and there is a lease area 27 km long and 2.5 km wide.

The developers of these and other projects have initiated public consultation. Projects are promoted as essential for energy and environmental purposes, but there is less, if any, reference in publicity to the profits.

So what does "consultation" mean?

Too often, as a journalist, it seems to me that "consultation" is seen by developers as a necessary process to be gone through, indicating that the public has been consulted. But with what effect? Is debate sufficiently focused on the effects on leisure, sailing, fishing, commercial, marine life, species? Is there not a need, in response to the proliferation of proposals, for more widespread debate and more intensive focus, practical discussion and a wider, co-operative approach and not only through the State process administered and controlled by officialdom >

In this regard, I have been talking to the man who has bought Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour to set up a business "to service the future needs of offshore wind farms." Pearse Flynn of Green Rebel Marine has set up a "strategic partnership" with Fisheries Liaisons Ltd., to develop communication "with the wider marine and fishing community as development of offshore wind farms picks up pace." It seems an interesting approach to "consultation."

Listen to him on the Podcast below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Green Rebel Marine, the Cork-based business established to service the future needs of offshore wind farms, has announced a new strategic partnership with Fisheries Liaisons Ltd. The partnership is seen as being a key factor in communicating with the wider marine and fishing community as development of offshore wind farms picks up pace.

Fisheries Liaisons Ltd has been a strong supporter of fishing communities across the island of Ireland in their dealings with other off-shore operators. The company has a strong reputation for engagement with communities fishing in Irish coastal waters ahead of the arrival of new entrants to the offshore market.

The relationship between Fisheries Liaisons Limited and Green Rebel Marine is designed to ensure coastal communities are consulted with in advance of any work, and fully informed of the latest developments involving wind farm operations.

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the coast from Dundalk in County Louth, to the Cork coast and beyond. Their construction will not only increase Ireland’s ability to produce renewable energy, it will also create an entire new sector dedicated to servicing their operation.

Pearse Flynn of Green Rebel Marine says, “Having come from a fishing community, I really appreciate the importance of the industry to livelihoods around the coast. The roll out of offshore wind will cross with the fishing industry at a number of points, and this new relationship with Fisheries Liaisons Ltd will mean that fishermen and their representatives organisations will be kept in the loop at all times. We aim to create a one-stop-shop between the fishing sector, their communities and the energy companies looking to place wind farms in Irish territorial waters. This new sector will create jobs and secure the future of our coastal communities.”

Fisheries Liaison Limited has three full-time staff, who will be based from the headquarters of Green Rebel Marine in Crosshaven, Co Cork. Since its creation, Fishery Liaisons has built a solid reputation conducting site specific risk analysis for a wide array of marine projects. In recent years, the company has evolved into the main stakeholder engagement partner for offshore wind project developers and the fishing community at large.

The team, all stemming from strong fishing heritage, apply decades of offshore and fishing liaison experience, to facilitate clear and transparent dialogue between the project developers and the fishing communities. Fishery Liaisons strive to develop good communication between the developers and the fishing communities, enabling them to co-exist throughout the project lifecycle. This collaboration with Green Rebel Marine will enable the team to continue to grow its expertise and expand its service offering well into the future.

Mark O’Reilly of Fisheries Liaisons Ltd says, “This is an opportunity for us to grow our team and provide a better service to the stakeholders concerned with this developing industry. We can now expand our presence on the ground and provide even more efficient support. Joining forces with Green Rebel Marine provides the platform we need to safeguard our fishing communities whilst enabling the development of offshore renewable energy towards a greener future for all. With energy companies now looking to place infrastructure at sea, we need to ensure that there is advance engagement at every turn, and that the fishing communities know they can rely on us to both listen and to convey their opinions in a timely and meaningful way.”

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard

 The British flagged Research/Survey Vessel Bibby Athena is a new visitor at Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour.

The catamaran is used for Seabed mapping and coastal survey work.

The 2014-built specialist ship has a length overall (LOA) of 27.5 metres and a width of 10.05 metres.

As part of its equipment, the Bibby Athena has onboard a d`ROP© survey ROV designed for shallow water survey and inspection, combining positioning from the DP vessel and a bespoke LARS system to maintain a fixed distance from the seabed.

Crosshaven Boatyard made the news last month when the extensive marine facility changed hands. 

Its new owner Pearse Flynn (see Afloat's report 28-09-20 here) has revealed further details of how the extensive facility in Cork Harbour will fit into his plans to provide comprehensive shoreside and on-water services for offshore wind farms off the Cork Coast, some as far as 70 miles at sea.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard
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Crosshaven Boatyard's new owner Pearse Flynn (see Afloat's report 28-09-20 here) has revealed further details of how the extensive facility in Cork Harbour will fit into his plans to provide comprehensive shoreside and on-water services for offshore wind farms off the Cork Coast, some as far as 70 miles at sea.

The yard, famed as the birthplace of Sir Francis Chichester's Gypsy Moth V in 1970, Tim Severin's ocean-voyaging "super-currach" St Brendan in 1977, and Denis Doyle's legendary offshore racer, the Frers 51 Moonduster, in 1981 - in addition to many other internationally-noted craft - is expected to be retaining many of its basic leisure boating services, while providing new work in the supply chain to the offshore wind industry.

Originally from Ballycotton in East Cork, Pearse Flynn (57) has had a remarkable international career, both as a senior executive in large corporations with a global reach, and as an entrepreneur. But according to an interview with Ian Guider in yesterday's Business Post, his heart has always remained in Ballycotton. And having one of his two homes there, he is keen to develop the vitality and economic clout of the small south coast ports, while retaining their strong sense of community.

Thus he feels that a highly-skilled locally-based workforce could be created by dynamic interaction with the growing wind energy industry. He reckons that if the ports such as Ballycotton and Crosshaven cannot provide the special combination of skills and service vessels, then his personal experience of working with the big international corporations involved leaves him in no doubt that they will readily import what they need from wherever it is easily available, depriving the small Irish ports of potentially significant sources of structural income and local employment.

 international entrepreneur Pearse Flynn in BallycottonBusy man back home – international entrepreneur Pearse Flynn in Ballycotton. Photo courtesy: Irish Examiner 

Thus he has invested €10 million in buying the boatyard – which comes with nine acres in a mix of workshops, covered storage and boat building facilities, in addition to extensive outdoor boat storage – and in ordering two special service vessels.

As to the actual wind farms, one line of approach which the team in his company Green Rebel Marine is researching is the possibility of turbines on floating platforms. But as of now, the village of Crosshaven is getting used to the idea that some truly cutting-edge sea-going technology may well be developed in a special place where traditional and modern boat-building have successfully inter-acted for many years.

Published in Crosshaven Boatyard
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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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