Sheskin Wind Farm
ABO Wind Ireland Ltd were granted planning permission for 8 wind turbines up to 150m in height and associated infrastructure on Coillte land at Sheskin forest, Bellacorick in December 2016.
It is important to us that communities surrounding the site are kept informed about developments in the project, and given the opportunity to give feedback prior to us making a planning application, so that any suggestions and concerns can be taken on board.
8 November 2019: Permission granted for higher tip heights
Mayo County Council has granted us permission to increase the tip heights of our eight wind turbines: from 150 metres to 176 metres (turbines 1-3) and from 150 metres to 165 metres (turbines 4-8).
The permission granted on 6 November 2019 also includes:
- an increase in the maximum height of the permanent met mast from 100 metres to 120 metres;
- an increase in the diameter of the foundation base from 22 metres to 26 metres.
July 2019: Application for amendments to planning permission
On 12 June 2019, we lodged a planning application to Mayo County Council for amendments to the existing planning permission.
These amendments include the following:
- An increase in the overall maximum height of the turbines from 150 metres to 176 metres (turbines 1-3) and from 150 metres to 165 metres (turbines 4-8) comprising a tower 95-120m high to which three blades of 55-70m length will be attached;
- An increase in the maximum height of the permanent met mast from 100m to 120m;
- An increase in the diameter of the foundation base from 22m to 26m;
- An amendment to Condition no. 46 to revise the community benefit payment to €2/MWh, to be consistent with government guidance set out under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme
Members of the public have until 16 July to make submissions to Mayo County Council.
October 2018: Changes in turbine technology
We are now intending to apply to amend the planning permission to allow for an increase in the height of the turbines. Turbines 1-3 would increase from 150m to 176m and turbines 4-8 would increase from 150m to 165m. This design approach takes into account the nature and elevation of the site and aims to ensure that there is no noticeable difference in the appearance of the revised scheme, compared with the original. Almost all elements of the consented scheme such as turbine locations and access track layout remain unchanged, with the exception of a slight increase in foundation size.
Rationale for the changes
There have been significant advancements in turbine technology over recent years and there are now a range of larger wind turbines available on the market. The rationale for the increase in turbine dimensions is to increase electricity production from Sheskin wind farm by using larger wind turbines with higher tip heights which can extract more energy from the wind. This will increase the estimated annual production of the project from 77,000 GWh to 100,000 GWh, resulting in an increase in carbon savings from 49,264 tonnes to 64,025 tonnes per annum, and meeting the electricity needs of approximately 23,600 homes, an increase of 5,500 compared with the consented scheme.
In line with the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) high level design paper, Sheskin wind farm will contribute €2/MWh to a community benefit fund.
Sheskin Wind Farm site is located in the townland of Sheskin circa 8 km north of the settlement of Bellacorick. It lies immediately to the east of Slieve Fyagh Mountain (331 m) at the northern extent of the Nephin Beg Range. The village of Glenamoy and town of Bangor Erris are circa 8km to the northeast and circa 12 km to the south west respectively.
General access to the site will be via the N59 national secondary route and L52926 local road which connects with an existing forest road that extends to the site entrance. The N59 circles around the west of Ireland, starting in County Sligo and passing west into County Mayo through Ballina and proceeding indirectly to Westport and south east to Galway City.
The site area covers approximately 688 ha, and overall falls on a gentle gradient from north west to south east. The site is entirely owned by Coillte Teoranta and was planted mostly in the 1980’s with coniferous forest of predominantly Lodgepole Pines and Sitka Spruce.
Community Benefit Fund and Community Investment
Prior to commercial operation ABO Wind will set up a community benefit fund with a contribution of €2/MWh of electricity produced, in line with the Renewable Energy Support Scheme terms & Conditions. This will benefit communities living closest to the wind farm. This fund can be tailored to meet the needs of the local community and we are happy to take on board any ideas or suggestions relating to the fund.
A national community benefits register will be established for all RESS projects and a Good Practice Handbook published by the Government prior to July 2021. More details to follow.
||95 m to 120 m
||up to 176 m
||Phase 1 will have a maximum export capacity of 16.8 MW
Photomontage – view of Sheskin turbines from Western way 2 km north of site
Photomontage – view of Sheskin turbines from Western way at Tawnaghmore
Photomontage – view of Sheskin turbines from local road at Srahmeen
|Start of construction
|Enabling works (access tracks, hard stands etc.)
||Q3 2021 to Q1 2022
||Q4 2021 to Q1 2022
||Q4 2021 to Q4 2022
|Turbine delivery and installation
Wind Energy in Ireland
The wind on almost the entire island blows as evenly and strongly as it does, at best, on the coasts of Central Europe. 3,500 full capacity hours are not a rarity, even for inland Irish wind farms.
But the limited grid capacities hamper a faster expansion of wind energy. With 60 inhabitants per square kilometre, the island is thinly populated – in Germany, for example, almost four times as many people (230 inhabitants per square kilometre) are bustling about in the same space and even more in the United Kingdom. Thus, the infrastructure is rather poor in some areas. As a result, the connection of a new wind farm to the Irish grid takes years in some regions.
In spite of this fact and despite the economic crises of 2008/2009, ABO succeeded in financing and finalizing the wind farms Glenough and Gortahile. Gortahile wind farm (20 megawatts), which was acquired by BNP Paribas Investment Partners, has been in operation since August 2010.
In autumn 2011, the largest wind farm (32.5 megawatts) ever constructed by ABO Wind was connected to the grid in Ireland. For the grid-connection of the wind farm Glenough, ABO Wind erected a 220 kilovolt substation. Glenough is part of the portfolio of ABO Invest, of which ABO Wind itself is a permanent shareholder. The majority of the shares belong to about 4,000 citizens.
The project Gibbet Hill in Co. Wexford with a total capacity of 15 megawatts was connected to the grid in 2013.
Our most recent project Cappawhite B in Co. Tipperary was connected to the grid in June 2018. This consists of four wind turbines with an installed capacity of 13 MW.