Four healthcare manufacturing companies in Cork lower harbour have come together to develop wind energy projects for their sites. Janssen Biologics, DePuy, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis installed four wind turbines, each generating a maximum electrical power output of three megawatts at maximum speed, providing direct energy and carbon savings for their respective sites. It is estimated that each turbine will generate nine gigawatts of electrical power per annum.
This innovative response increases international competitiveness and energy costs, and it will visibly demonstrate a long-term commitment to renewable energy technologies, integrated with the established healthcare manufacturing activities. Arup’s extensive experience in manufacturing and renewable energy and high profile planning applications featured strongly on this project.
Each company secured planning permission for one turbine on their site. Arup provided planning advice, stakeholder consultation and prepared a planning application supported by a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.
We also dealt with the planning permission appeals to An Bord Pleanála, leading up to the final grant of planning and prepared the planning compliance submission for approval by the planning authority.
Finally, we completed a front end civil and electrical engineering design which provided each site with a design basis and a cost estimate to realise the project once planning had been obtained.
Large wind turbines in Cork harbour
Cork harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world and is one of the most important industrial centres in Ireland. The harbour offers employment for large numbers of people and is a strategic port for shipping, while at the same time providing significant residential and leisure amenities for people. Cork harbour is also a designated Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
All of these facets of Cork harbour needed to be considered when preparing the planning application and Environmental Impact Statement that would demonstrate large wind turbines would not negatively impact on the harbour.
Additional studies included the bird habitats, daytime and night time flight paths of wintering birds and the impact of wind turbines on aviation radar installations.
Providing with the right knowledge
Consultations with many of the prescribed bodies in Ireland were necessary to guide the planning applications through to a successful outcome.
Arup's experience and understanding in dealing with high profile planning applications, coupled with an inclusive system of addressing the issues, played a significant part in this project.