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Displaying items by tag: Schull

Cork county councillors have expressed further frustration at the local authority’s decision not to submit the Schull Harbour regeneration project for rural development funding.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, hopes for the multi-million-euro improvement scheme for the West Cork sailing centre were dashed at the end of last year as the project’s planning permission is running out.

The Southern Star reports that while the deadline for submissions passed more than a month ago, councillors have continued to criticise the authority for its decision.

It’s understood county engineers were of the position that construction would not begin until just weeks before expiry of planning permission in October 2022, though this situation has been repudiated by the harbour company.

However, the administration has also warned that any renewed planning permission for the harbour breakwater portion of the development — which was rejected by An Bord Pleanála — “could be much more difficult to obtain” than before.

The Southern Star has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Harbours
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Hopes for funding for a massive regeneration of Schull Harbour have been dashed as its planning permission is running out.

According to the Southern Star, in the West Cork sailing centre has twice been proposed by Cork County Council for rural regeneration funding administered by the Department of Rural Affairs.

The €5 million plans, which follow on from the community-procured pontoon that opened in mid-2018, include a 225-berth marina and slipway with a breakwater.

But a meeting in November heard that even if the project were to be approved, construction would not begin until a month shy of is planning permission expiry in October 2022.

It’s reported that factors influencing the change in stance include the refusal of the breakwater portion of the development, which raises conservation concerns.

Now the council has been asked to explain its about-face on the matter after “20 odd years of hard work”.

Writing to the same newspaper, local resident and businessman Denis Quinlan says he is “deeply concerned at the flippant response of Cork County Council to this very important project that could mean so much to the commercial sustainability of the entire Mizen peninsula”.

The Southern Star has more on the story HERE.

Update 30 December 2020: The story has been edited to clarify the statement on the refusal of planning permission for the breakwater. The original statement misconstrued its relationship to local conservation concerns.

Published in Irish Harbours
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The first race of the West Cork sailing season took place on Saturday in murky conditions with intermittent foggy spells and light rain making it a tough return to sailing for the Schull harbour sailing fleet.

The seven yachts had a tough double beat up Long Island Sound in a freshening southwest wind. In a time of necessary adherence to social distancing, the club ran a ferry service limiting the transfer of each crew as a single pod.

The seven boat fleet had a tough windward leg up Long Island SoundThe seven boat fleet had tough windward legs up Long Island Sound

The traditional apres sail prize presentation is currently cancelled with Tony O Brien's Excelsior on his first outing with the club receiving his victory news online.

The Schull Harbour Race Committee for the first race of the 2020 seasonPreparing to go afloat at Schull Harbour for the first race of the 2020 season

Published in Racing
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After a weekend of lift-ins for cruiser fleets around the country that marks the beginning of the 2019 sailing season, the current strong south-east winds led to a disappointing start for one cruiser skipper in the popular boating centre of Schull, West Cork.

The boat beached near enough to the slipway in 'appalling conditions', according to local sources, so the hope now is that it should be possible to get a crane into position to lift her and restart the 2019 season.

 

Published in News Update
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Calves Week Regatta in West Cork gets a boost when it begins in two weeks time with the completion of the new North Harbour pontoon in Schull this week.

The new pontoon that comes complete with a purpose-built walkway was finished this week as our photo above shows.

As Afloat.ie reported on July 10th, the long-awaited facility at the popular boating harbour finally got underway with the arrival of a jack-up rig for pile driving.

And it wasn't long before the piling was completed as Afloat.ie reported on July 23rd

"The pontoon is a boon for Calves Week Regatta"

According to Schull Harbour Sailing Club, the contract for the pontoon was expected to take six weeks to complete, but due to favourable weather the contractor, L&M Keating has completed it well ahead of schedule, a boon for Calves Week and other activities at the boating centre.

Published in Irish Marinas
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Piledriving for Schull Harbour's new North Harbour pontoon is finished and the new pontoons are to be floated into position this week writes Bob Bateman

A crane is now on site to lift the walkway into position.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, the long-awaited pontoon at the popular boating harbour in Schull, West Cork got finally underway earlier this month.

According to Schull Harbour Sailing Club, the contract for the pontoon was expected to take six weeks to complete, but due to favourable weather the contractor, L&M Keating expects to have it completed for Calves Week in early August.

The harbour got a further boost this week when it was announced Schull was among 18 Cork coastal communities to benefit from funding for its regatta.

Schull harbour north pontoon1The safe and surprisingly sheltered north harbour, is open only to gales from the south, is home to many waterborne activities Photo: Bob BatemanSchull harbour north pontoon1Schull harbour north pontoon1The Ocean Explorer work vessel was involved in the installation of the new Schull Harbour pontoon this month Photo: Bob BatemanSchull harbour north pontoon1

Published in Irish Marinas
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The long-awaited pontoon at the popular boating harbour in Schull, West Cork looks to be finally underway with the arrival, this week, of a jack-up rig for pile driving.

As Afloat.ie reported in April, the Department of the Marine gave €112,500 for the installation of the pontoon which the local community has already procured at Schull in West Cork.

According to Schull Harbour Sailing Club, the contract for the North Harbour pontoon was expected to take six weeks to complete, but due to favourable weather the contractor L&M Keating are expecting to have it completed for Calves Week in early August.

Other West Cork locations also got funding for improvements - €56,250 for Glengarriff Pier to upgrade and improve the existing pier, including new steel steps and safety rails.

Work has also recently been completed to new boating facilities at Cape Clear Island, as Afloat.ie reported here.

As our picture above shows the new Schull facility will be a welcome addition in the popular harbour for both commercial and leisure craft. It's another valuable asset for boaters exploring the sailing wonders of West Cork.

Published in Irish Marinas
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The Department of the Marine is giving €112,500 for the installation of the pontoon which the local community has already procured at Schull in West Cork.

Other West Cork locations are also to get funding for improvements - €56,250 for Glengarriff Pier to upgrade and improve the existing pier, including new steel steps and safety rails.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, the work is part of funding for 52 local authority harbour projects that received €2.2m in capital investment programmes.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Attempts to recover a 32–foot that went aground in Schul, West Cork during Storm Ophelia get underway this morning.  

A recovery team is expected to slide the yacht down the rocks and back into the water using inflated rubber bags.

Published in News Update
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Kinsale Yacht Club youth sailors Michael O'Suilleabhain and Michael Carroll were the winners of this afternoon's All Ireland Junior Sailing Championships sailed at  the Fastnet Outdoor Marine Education Centre in TR 3.6 double handed dinghies. 

Saturday's light and shifty conditions gave way to soid breeze for today's single medal race final. 

junior all irelandTight competition in the junior all Ireland sailing finals in Schull. Scroll down for video below. Photo: Robin Bateman

The West Cork pairing beat two National Yacht Club crews from Dun Laoghaire who were challenging for the overall title. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell and Harry Durcan and Loghlen Rickard and Nathan Van Steenberge finished second and third respectively.

Overall results: 

  Michael O'Suilleabhain Michael Carroll Kinsale YC (13) 1 1 1 5 9 6 36 23      
  Rian Geraghty-McDonnell Harry Durcan National YC (6) 2 5 5 3 3 10 24 28      
  Loghlen Rickard Nathan Van Steenberge National YC 2 6 (9) 3 6 2 14 42 33      
  Ronan Walsh Tom Higgins Royal CorkYC 4 5 2 4 2 (6) 16 39 33      
  Johnny Durcan Emily Cullen Royal Cork YC 1 3 3 2 (7) 5 20 41 34      
  Chris Bateman Daniel Hegarty Royal Cork YC (7) (+5 SP) 4 4 7 10 8 2 47 35      
  Jack Fahy Noah McCarthy-Fisher Lough Derg YC Royal Cork YC / Royal StGeorge YC (19) (+5 SP) 13 8 9 9 1 4 68 44      
  Luke McGrath Kate Darcy Royal Cork YC (16) 10 7 6 12 4 8 63 47      
  Caolan Croasdell Alexander Farrell Lough Ree YC 10 9 6 11 4 (15) 12 67 52      
  Joseph Karauzum TC Mulvenna Ballyholme YC / County Antrim YC 11 7 11 12 1 (13) 18 73 60

Dinghy Fest Su 3614Winning duo – The Kinsale Yacht Club youth sailors Michael O'Suilleabhain and Michael Carroll are a 420 dinghy partnership seen here at Dinghy Fest 2017 at Royal Cork Yacht Club. Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in ISA
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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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