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Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm

A project of BayWa r.e. Ireland Ltd.

Overview

BayWa r.e. Ireland Ltd. is exploring the opportunity to build a wind farm on land at Gooseberryhill, Co. Cork. The proposed wind farm would be near to the communities of Newmarket, Meelin, and Freemount. 

BayWa r.e. Ireland understand the importance of community engagement at every stage of a project’s development process. We have created this page to share information about the proposal, provide details on upcoming public information events, and to gather community feedback. The Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm development information page will be available and updated throughout the application process.

Project Status

A meteorological mast was installed at Gooseberryhill Townland in August 2023 as part of ongoing wind measurements. Meteorological masts are installed to evaluate the wind speed and direction, determining the most suitable number, location and type of wind turbine. The location of the meteorological mast is shown in the map below.  

Detailed environmental studies are continuing across the site including ecology, hydrology, noise, and landscape and visual assessments. We expect to have an initial layout to present in Summer 2024, which will show the proposed location of the wind turbines.

Meteorological Mast Location

Potential Benefits

Benefits arising from the construction and operation of the proposed Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm include: 

  • Clean renewable energy that is expected to power up to 40,000 homes*; 
  • An inclusive Community Benefit Fund of approximately €320,000* per year, which will allow a wide range of individuals and organisations benefit from the proposed wind farm; 
  • The potential for job creation during the construction, operation and maintenance phases of the proposed project; 
  • Potential opportunities for local businesses in the supply chain. 
*The final generating capacity and Community Benefit Fund figure will be proportionate to the developments installed capacity upon completion. 

Design Considerations

In designing a layout for the proposed Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm a number of factors will be considered.

Noise

Setback Distance

Visual Impact

Environmental Sensitivity

Shadow Flicker

Rivers and Streams

Grid Access

Telecommunication Links

County Development Plans

Infrastructure

Community Feedback

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why this location?

    In selecting a site for a wind farm development there are a number of criteria that must be considered. Based on these criteria some sites are more suitable for wind farms than others.

    The main criteria that we consider include:

    • Grid Access
    • Proximity to Dwellings
    • County Development Plan
    • Environmental and Ecological Sensitivities
    • Telecommunications Links
    • Cumulative Visual Impact
    • Flooding Risk
    • Supporting Infrastructure
    • Aviation
  • How close will the turbines be to residential property?

    The turbine layout for Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm will comply with the Draft Wind Energy Development Guidelines (2019), which proposes a setback distance of 4 times the tip height, subject to a mandatory minimum setback of 500 metres from residential property

  • Will there be shadow flicker?

    Wind turbines, like many other tall structures, cast long shadows when the sun is low in the sky. This effect known as “shadow flicker” occurs where the rotating blades of a wind turbine cast a moving shadow which, if it passes over a window in a nearby house or other property results in a rapid change or flicker in the incoming sunlight.

    Modern wind turbines have the technology to measure sunlight levels and to reduce or stop turbine rotation if the conditions that would lead to shadow flicker at any nearby property occurring. Other prevention measures could include the provision of screening, where this is acceptable to the relevant householder. 

    A shadow flicker assessment of potentially sensitive locations or receptors surrounding the proposed turbine locations will be submitted as part of our planning application. With careful site design and appropriate mitigation, and most critically the use of appropriate equipment and computer software, no existing dwelling or other affected property (e.g. existing work places or schools) should experience shadow flicker

  • Are wind turbines noisy?

    Modern design has drastically reduced the noise and mechanical components of wind turbines, so the most audible sound is generally of the wind interacting with the turbine blades. Even in quiet rural areas the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines. As part of an Environmental Impact Assessment, we must demonstrate noise levels will not significantly adversely affect local residents.

    We will conduct pre-construction noise monitoring to fully understand the noise environment, and post-construction noise monitoring to ensure that the noise limits are being adhered to. If for any reason, noise limits are exceeding the noise limit guidelines the turbines will be curtailed until a solution is found and noise limits are complied with.

  • Will the wind farm impact property prices?

    There is absolutely no research that we have seen which shows that wind farms affect property prices in Ireland. A major study in Scotland, a country of a similar size and a similar scale wind industry to Ireland, found no evidence of a negative impact on property prices.[1]

     

  • Are wind farms bad for your health?

    In 2018 the World Health Organisation said it found no evidence or ‘low quality’ evidence of any negative health impact from wind turbine noise.[1]

    Overall, the benefits to human health that come from the reduction of air pollution by producing clean, renewable wind power far outweigh the perceived health threats from wind turbines. 

    [1] Pages 77-78. WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region. 2018.

  • Are wind farms bad for the local environment?

    Before submitting a planning application for Gooseberry Hill Wind Farm, the developer must prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report. The report explains in detail what impact the project, if it went ahead, would have on the environment. If any negative impacts are identified, the developer must explain how they are going to avoid or protect against these. Only if the planning authority is satisfied permission can be given for the development of the project.

How does wind energy work?

Medium voltage underground cables

33kV - private grid

Substation

Gathers the energy of the wind farm at 33kV before injecting it into the public grid

Connects the public power transmission system to the public power distribution system


Public Information Events 

BayWa r.e. Ireland intend to hold Public Information Events in the locality in Summer 2024.  
Information will be added here once details are confirmed. 


 

Project Timeline

Step 1

Detailed Environmental Studies

Step 2

Community Engagement

Step 3

Pre-Application Consultation

Step 4

Planning Application

Additional Resources

Have Your Say 

Should you wish to submit any comments/suggestions on the proposed development, please click on the contact us button below.

 *Geological Survey Ireland estimate that 1MW of wind capacity can provide enough electricity to supply approximately around 600 homes.

Contents
    Contact
    Sean_McCabe_70x70.jpg
    Sean McCabe
    Renewables Developer
    BayWa r.e. UK Limited
    Alison_Murphy_70x70.jpg
    Alison Murphy
    Community Engagement Manager
    BayWa r.e. UK Limited
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