Wave energy for Clare in five years?

This article is from page 2 of the 2011-12-27 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 2 JPG

IRELAND’S first ever commercial wave energy plants could be operational off the Clare coast in less than five years following an application by Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy for a foreshore license to begin construction works at Freagh Point, just outside Miltown Malbay.

CETO Wave Energy, which is the Irish subsidiary of Carnegie Wave Energy, have asked the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for a lease covering an area of ocean between Freagh Point and Spanish Point.

While a number of prototype wave energy plant have been muted for construction in Ireland, the CETO project is the first concrete application for a commercial plant which has been received by the Department of the Environment.

According to Spanish Point resident and local councillor Michael Hillery (FF), the local people will have to be satisfied that the wave energy plant will not impact on the scenic area around Spanish Point and White Strand if they are to support any wave energy project.

“We really need to see the details before we can start to make up our mind on something like this. The local people will need to see exactly what is proposed and how that will fit into local area and the local seascape,” he told The Clare People .

“We will need to see how this plant will connect to the grid onshore and what kind of disruption this might cause for the local people. This is a local beauty spot and we will have to be guaranteed that this will not be impacted on if this is to go ahead,” he said.

If granted, the foreshore license will allow CETO Wave Energy to conduct marine hydrographic surveys over the area, to conduct ecological and archaeological surveys including monitoring the local dolphin and porpoise populations and to construct a wave and current monitoring buoy in the waters off Freagh Point.

The company are believed to be looking at two areas in particular within the area and they hope that careful monitoring will help them to choose the exact best plane to construct the proposed power plant.

“Securing a foreshore license over the Clare site will provide Carnegie with the confidence to invest the time and resources to further develop the project,” said Carnegie executive director Kieran O’Brien last week.

If built the wave energy plant will have the capacity to produce 5MW of electricity.

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