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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 08:29 GMT
Coast wind farm plan
Wind farm would be visible from coast
Wind farm would be visible from coast
Northern Ireland's Department of Enterprise is considering a proposal to build a wind farm off the north coast which could generate enough electricity to power several towns.

Last week a company in the Irish Republic announced plans for a major wind farm off the coast of Wicklow.

And it has emerged that there is a similar proposal for a farm off the coast near Castlerock and Portstewart.

The Crown Estate, which owns the seabed in the area, has confirmed that it is in discussion with the department over a proposal to make the site available to a developer interested in the project.

Scenic area

It is anticipated there would be up to 60 windmills, 40 metres high, which could produce up to 150 megawatts of power. That is the equivalent of a small power station.

Getting permission to build offshore is a complex process.

For technical reasons the location proposed is believed to be the only site in the area suitable for a wind farm.

However, it is likely to prove controversial as the farms would be visible from the scenic north Antrim coast - one of Northern Ireland's main tourist attractions.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's business editor James Kerr reports
"Getting permission to build offshore is a complex process"
See also:

11 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Ireland takes wind power plunge
18 Jun 01 | Scotland
Turbines bring wind of change
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