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One of their better editorials.  

The preference for large offshore installations has to be right. I wonder if the newer floating platforms would work along the Atlantic coast, taking into account a hurricane every 20 years of so, and if so, how far offshore could they be stationed?

My concern is not the appearance but the available square metreage, along with grid topology.

by Pope Epopt on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 11:52:11 AM EST
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I'm reading it as a preference for large farms on-shore, too, which I'm less positive about. Then again, how well built-out is the Irish grid in the best wind areas?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 04:21:53 PM EST
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The answer is hardly at all.  We have many long hills with bog on top in my area of the North West, only a few of which have a scattering of turbines, erected by individual investors.  So we are no where near potential maximum density.

Some we may wish to leave clear for aesthetic and landmark reasons but much of the high land is not that spectacular, in my purely subjective judgment.

Speaking personally, I'd rather see an active productive landscape, like the old Dutch wind-powered landscape, than a pristine but unsustainable one.

by Pope Epopt on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 05:09:29 PM EST
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...but I'd be happy to do that among turbines.
by Pope Epopt on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 05:12:14 PM EST
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The windiest areas are in the west along the Atlantic seaboard and on higher ground throughout the country.  These are also the most sparsely populated and thus the least served by the National Grid (although Moneypoint, one of the largest stations (Coal Fired) is located on the Shannon estuary in the west).

However Ireland is not a huge country and does have a competent national grid operator with significant resources.  We do need more interconnectors to the UK and France etc. and a higher capacity high voltage east/west network to transmit the power from western wind farms to the more populated east.  However the Irish Sea is relatively shallow in most places and has huge potential for offshore farms not far from the main Dublin market, and the UK market.

I do think there will be popular resistance to wind farms in the most scenic areas and there is some risk to damage to the tourist industry.  But we are a long way from saturation point and there is also scope for smaller farms in more rural areas to meet much of the local demand.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 05:41:13 PM EST
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