Leading environmental firm SLR Consulting has delivered a ground-breaking, renewable energy training programme on behalf of Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), in Co. Donegal in northwest Ireland, an area which boasts some of the highest wind speeds in Europe.
SLR worked with Inishowen Co-Operative Society Limited on the course which attracted landowners and individuals interested in the possibility of a locally owned wind farm.
Members were guided through issues including wind speeds and resources, site selection, environmental impact assessment, planning requirements and constraints, grid connectivity, construction and ultimately, risks and financing.
SLR Technical Director, Deirdre Lewis, who developed and implemented the course with her colleagues, said: “SLR was delighted to channel the enthusiasm shown by the course participants towards developing a locally owned wind farm in Inishowen.
“The course brought home to all the complexity, risks, costs and time-scales involved in delivering a wind farm, while demonstrating the benefits of adopting a collective approach to overcome undoubted challenges that will arise during project development.”
Both IDP and the Inishowen Co-Op are currently working with a steering group, which emerged directly from the training programme, to develop an action plan and to conduct early stage consultations with landowners, local authority planners and other enablers locally.
Wind farms are set to become a familiar sight on the British landscape and SLR hope to be at the forefront of the development of this exciting industry.
Renewable energy is set to become one of the most important emerging industries during the next decade as businesses seek out sustainable sources which do not utilize fossil fuels.
SLR is an international environmental consultancy, based near Oxford in the UK, with almost 900 employees working from 63 offices in the Europe, North America, Australasia, and Africa. SLR is one of a very small number of truly international specialist environmental consultancies.
It provides global advice and support on a wide range of strategic and site-specific issues to a diverse and growing base of business, regulatory and governmental clients. Key areas of SLRs business are the energy and mining sector where it is involved with both the oil and gas industry, renewable power including wind, energy from waste, hydropower and biomass, and advises mining companies and funding organisations throughout the world.
SLR is also the leading consultant to the private sector waste management industry in the UK and undertakes a significant amount of planning and environmental impact assessment work for major commercial developers.