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Echoes > 2013 > Wind turbines: a complete waste of money

Wind turbines: a complete waste of money

In optimal wind conditions, 5 wind turbines incapable of running a park's lights, pumps, fountains and maintenance depot.

The Irish IndependentOctober 30, 2013
by Ruaidhrí Giblin

Blow for council as wind power fails to light up €20m park

Some of the windmills at Fr Collins Park
A WIND-powered park next to the abandoned Priory Hall apartment complex is incapable of generating enough spark to keep its lights on.

Built by Dublin City Council at a cost of €20m, Fr Collins Park in Donaghmede, north Dublin, was described as Ireland's first "self-sustaining city park" when it opened in 2009.

Five wind turbines were designed to provide renewable energy for the park's lights, pumps, fountains and maintenance depot.

But a report by BioXL Energy Consultants has found that about three-quarters of the parks electricity will have to be imported this year at a cost of €45,000 plus VAT.

Installation of the turbines cost €1.15m, about double typical commercial costs, according to the report which was issued in January of this year and released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Prior to the development, a feasibility study estimated that 100pc of the park's energy would be met by wind power at peak times, with about 75pc being met on average.

But the new report stated that, even at peak performance, the wind turbines were incapable of meeting the park's electricity needs.

In fact, they produced only €14,000 a year worth of electricity – needing a further €45,000 plus VAT in order to operate – while also devouring about €34,000 a year on maintenance.



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