First Flight Wind Aerial Surveys Begin Over Marine Windfarm Site


B9 Energy, DONG Energy and RES, is currently proposing to develop Northern Ireland’s First Offshore Wind Farm, and today (3 January) announced it has started aerial surveys over the Wind Resource Zone off the Co. Down coast. A plane equipped with four high definition video cameras will fly over the Wind Resource Zone each month recording bird and marine mammal activity. [caption id="attachment_35219" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The completed DONG marine windfarm at Gunfleet Sands in England.[/caption] A twin-engined aircraft will fly in a grid pattern over the Wind Resource Zone approximately 2000 feet above the sea. Flights will be limited to daylight hours during reasonable weather conditions. The results of the survey will help to determine which birds and marine mammal species use the Wind Resource Zone and identify any potential effects on sea birds and marine mammals. The aerial surveys will be augmented by boat-based sea bird and marine mammal surveys commencing in spring 2013. Jack Farnham, the Offshore Consents Manager for First Flight Wind, said: “Aerial surveys are part of First Flight Wind’s drive to understand exactly how birds and marine mammals use the Wind Resource Zone – right through all the seasons. This first aerial survey marks the start of a broader environmental and engineering survey campaign which will help to determine a suitable location for the wind farm within the Wind Resource Zone, prior to any consent application.” Information about First Flight Wind or the proposed marine windfarm can be found at the following local information points are on their website. 1. Annalong Barbican 2. Ardglass Community Centre 3. Sea Gems, The Harbour, Ardglass 4. Carlingford Tourist Office 5. Castlebellingham Post Office 6. Castlewellan Library 7. Clogherhead RLNI Shop 8. Downpatrick Library 9. Dundalk Tourist Office 10. Dundrum Post Office 11. Kilkeel Nautilus Centre 12. Kilkeel Library 13. Newcastle Library 14. Newcastle Tourist Information Centre 15. Newry Library 16. Portaferry Library 17. Warrenpoint Library 18. Portavogie Post Office First flight Wind is encouraging anyone with an interest in the project to complete a feedback questionnaire, which asks the public if First Flight Wind is doing enough to keep them informed. The closing date for this questionnaire is 11 January 2013. It can be downloaded or completed online at You can also pick up a copy at one of the designated Information Points listed above.]]>


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