First Flight Wind Aerial Surveys Begin Over Marine Windfarm Site
THE next step in the process of evaluating the site for the establishment of a major marine windfarm off the County Down coast has begun.
First Flight Wind, the consortium comprising 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.
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 www.firstflightwind.com. You can also pick up a copy at one of the designated Information Points listed above.