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Planned wind farms off Waterford coast raised in Dáil

Questions have been raised in the Dáil about the exact details of planned wind farms off the Waterford coast.

Independent TD Matt Shanahan says communities closest to these offshore developments need to be fully informed before any works begin.

At the moment, there are a number of offshore wind farms that are in the planning or exploratory phases.

Referencing plans for a project off the Copper Coast, between Dungarvan and Tramore, Deputy Shanahan says more information is needed.

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"I'm told by people in the maritime industry that the shelf which runs along that coastline dips off beyond 60m somewhere close to two miles off shore. Therefore these pylons cannot be fixed," he said.

Deputy Shanahan says communities closest to offshore developments need to be fully informed.

"There are a number of licences being considered for wind farms totalling anywhere between fifty and seventy turbines fixed to the sea bed," he added.

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Deputy Shanahan said these turbines could be up to 350m in height which is "well above what the spire in Dublin is".

He is calling on the government to make sure wind farms don't end up costing Ireland in the long run and says coastal communities in Waterford need a lot more information before works on any offshore wind farms begin.

"Is it a case that Ireland could find itself paying more for the domestic produced electricity on our shores as opposed to what might be paid on the open markets where electricity is being exported?" he asked.

"Have we consider any pivot within the contracts if the State wishes to buy out those wind farms at any point along their 25 year contract?"

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