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Displaying items by tag: LE Niamh

The Naval Service is carrying out an internal investigation into the fire on board the LÉ Niamh moored alongside Cork Dockyard at Rushbrooke in Cork Harbour which occurred on Saturday.

As Afloat reported earlier, Fire service Units from Cobh, Midleton, and Cork City were called.

Defence Forces Press Office said no injuries to naval service personnel or Cork Dockyard staff.

"While a full investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted, it is thought to have started in a stores compartment adjacent to where cutting work was being carried out by engineers," the spokesperson said."The ships Duty Watch responded to the alarm and carried out firefighting to contain the fire and prevent any spread.

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Independent.ie reports that a fire which broke out on a Naval Service vessel in Cork Harbour has been brought under control — but the scale of the damage could be significant.

It’s understood that the accidental blaze started in a storage compartment of the patrol vessel LÉ Niamh, which is moored alongside Cork Dockyard at Rushbrooke, shortly before lunchtime today, Saturday 3 October.

Fire brigade units from Cork city and county attended the incident, which was also handed by Navy firefighters. No injuries have been reported.

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Near gale force and gusty south-west winds have forced a  change of venue for a Galway 2020 International Women’s Day event on board the Naval Service patrol ship LÉ Niamh on Sunday morning.

The patrol ship was to have hosted “Ragadawn”, an outdoor sunrise performance by international poet and sound artist Caroline Bergvall.

However, due to the potential impact of the wind on the sound systems, the sell-out event will now take place in the Druid Theatre, Galway at 7 am on Sunday, March 8 th – within walking distance of the ship at Galway docks.

LÉ Niamh arrived into Galway under the command of Lieut Cdr Claire Murphy on Thursday in preparation for international women’s day.

It is almost 12 years since Lieut Cdr Roberta O’Brien became the first female commander of a navy patrol vessel – the LÉ Aisling -  and that handover ceremony took place in Galway, the city which the ship had been twinned with.

Galway 2020 cultural producer Liz Kelly has paid tribute to the Naval Service and Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan for agreeing to participate in the event.

 “Ragadawn” is described as a unique outdoor sunrise performance by international poet and sound artist Caroline Bergvall.

It comprises a “multisensory composition for two live voices, a dawn chorus of multiple recorded languages, alongside a special vocal work for soprano by Gavin Bryars”,  and it “invites audiences to follow the slow rising of day”.

The composition draws on “ancient and contemporary musical and literary sunrise traditions”, with  “breath patterns, poetic voice, song, languages, electronic frequencies and passing sounds”

It aims to recall  “the cyclical patterns that connect all beings both to nature and society, and the awakening of mind and body”, and is described as “a powerful and moving voice performance that reconnects audiences to time, place and to each other”.

 The event is one of a number programmed by Galway 2020 over this weekend to mark international women’s day.

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#navy - LÉ Niamh an offshore patrol vessel of the Naval Service is in the Port of Galway this week and is offering the public guided tours.

The OPV writes GalwayDaily will be alongside Galway this today and Friday, with the crew taking members of the public of the navy patrol ship between 1pm and 5pm.

LÉ Niamh is the second Róisín class ship built (Appledore, UK) for the Naval Service and to the same long (78.8m) design of older leadship that optimises her performance in rough Irish waters.

For more click here including a career drive to rise recruitment click this link for further information.

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#Navy - According to The Irish Times, two Naval Service vessels were prevented from leaving their Haulbowline base last week due to crew shortages.

The LÉ Orla and LÉ Niamh were both kept at their docks while reserve members were drafted to cover shortages on the flagship LÉ Eithne.

Last week’s situation — linked to a reduced level of personnel retention — is a symptom of a bigger problem within the Defence Forces, The Irish Times reports, with one lieutenant colonel saying the command structure “is breaking down”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

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#LENiamhHomecoming - L.É. Niamh returned to Cork Harbour anchorage overnight just in time for Christmas, having carried out a new historic first for the Irish Naval Service in the participation of Operation Sophia, writes Jehan Ashmore

Afloat continued tracking the OPV80 'Róisín' class patrol ship as of this mid-morning, L.É. Niamh weighed anchor in lower Cork Harbour to make the short passage to Haulbowline Naval Base and under the escort of tug, Gerry O'Sullivan. On board were a 55-strong crew planning to wear Santa hats under the command Lt Cdr Stuart Armstrong. Awaiting them were families and loved ones looking forward to sharing the festive period.

As previously reported on Afloat, the OPV80 class L.E. Niamh had departed Cork in October for the three-month deployment. This involved working as part of European Naval Force Mediterranean - Eunavfor Med Operation Sophia that consisted of a six-strong naval flotilla task force off the coast of Libya to neutralise people-smuggling operations.

Operation Sophia saw the interception of boats used by the smugglers from the Libyan coast and returning the migrants to north Africa.

In late November, the Eunavfor flotilla met to conduct exercises and crew exchanges taking advantage of tactical situations. During this rendez-vous, they kept performing operational tasks, obtaining information and controlling maritime traffic.

Last week, the Spanish auxiliary supplies ship Cantabria moored in Taranto, an Italian Naval base. On board a command change ceremony took place of Operation Sophia Task Force that saw the transfer from the Spanish to the duty of Force Commander of the Italian Navy.

Afloat also last week tracked down L.É. Niamh when south of Sicily, as the OPV had departed from the Ionian Sea port of Augusta on the Italian mainland.

 

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#Navy - The LÉ Niamh is headed for the Mediterranean today (Friday 6 October) for the Naval Service’s first ever role in an operation directly targeting human traffickers.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the EU mission Operation Sophia aims to intercept boats used by people-smugglers from the Libyan coast and return migrants to North Africa.

However, the pivot away from rescue missions has been criticised by Sinn Féin’s defence spokesperson Aengus O'Snodaigh, who cites “appalling” conditions for returned migrants in Libyan detention centres.

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#MinisterDefends - Paul Kehoe Minister of State for Defence has said he was immensely proud of the Naval Service as the LE Eithne and its crew prepared to depart for the Mediterranean to assist in the rescue of refugees fleeing north Africa and the Middle East.

As the Irish Times writes Mr Kehoe believed Ireland should continue to assist Italy in a practical manner in as far as possible and the Italian authorities have welcomed this support which will see the patrol vessel LE Eithne under Cmdr Brian Fitzgerald return to the Mediterranean to assist with the rescues of migrants.

“As Minister with responsibility for defence, I feel immensely proud of the crew members that are going out to the Mediterranean this morning – over the last number of years, we have seen the immense difference that the Irish Naval Service have made in rescuing migrants,” he said.

The rescue operations began in May 2015 when the LE Eithne departed for the Mediterranean and rescued some 3,377 migrants, and since then Naval Service ships have rescued a further 12,071 to give a total of some 15,448 people the Naval Service has saved in Operation Pontus.

But Mr Kehoe would not be drawn on controversy that emerged last week at the trial in Sicily of three men accused of people trafficking when the Italian authorities criticised the LE Niamh for not venturing inside Libyan territorial waters in the course of a rescue operation in August 2015.

For much more click the newspaper's report here.

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#MedRescue - Irish Naval Service personnel came to the rescue of around 380 migrants across three operations in the Mediterranean on Friday (18 September), as the Irish Examiner reports.

The responses off the Libyan coast – which included the rescue of 124 and 127 people respectively from inflatable craft, and saving 129 from a sinking dinghy – bring the LÉ Niamh's total rescued to 3,723.

That tops the number saved by sister ship the LÉ Eithne, which returned from its nine-week deployment in July.

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#navy – L.É. Niamh under the command of her captain, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wall departs the Naval Base, Haulbowline this evening, en route for the Mediterranean to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian operation to rescue migrants fleeing North Africa.
The Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., had announced earlier this month that L.É. Niamh would deploy to the Mediterranean to continue Ireland's contribution to the search and rescue mission. L.É. Eithne has spent the past eight weeks in the Mediterranean and has set out on her return to Irish shores. A total of 3,377 people have been rescued by L.É. Eithne from the waters between Libya and Sicily.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney said "I had the opportunity of visiting L.É. Eithne last Tuesday. I conveyed to the personnel our deep appreciation for the outstanding manner in which they performed their duties on overseas service on behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland. I am pleased to be here today to convey my appreciation to you, in advance of your deployment."
L.É. Niamh with a crew of 55 Naval Service personnel and 2 medics from the Army Medical Corps will continue the remarkable work started by L.É. Eithne. The Minister went on to say "L.É. Niamh is expected to be deployed in the Mediterranean until September, dependent on the operational demands and requirements arising."
The Minister concluded by saying "I want to wish Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wall and the crew of L.É. Niamh a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the Mediterranean with my best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation."

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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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