DesignPro Renewables have formally announced this week that we will not be demonstrating our 60kW hydrokinetic turbine in County Clare as part of our current EU Horizon 2020 project. We lodged a foreshore application in April this year hoping to deploy our 60kW device on the Fergus Estuary near Cahiracon. The proposed demonstration was for a duration of 12 months to carry out testing on the technology. The local community, Clare County Council and Shannon Foynes Port Company were in support of this project to go ahead.
Our Horizon 2020 project is progressing well and will see the first deployment of a 25kW device at a certified test site, SEENEOH, located in Bordeaux, France this September. Demonstration of the 60kW device is another key project deliverable and we were very keen to do this in Ireland if at all possible. Our Marketing Manager, Roisin Mc Cormack commented on this matter:
“We had stressed to all involved stakeholders from the very beginning of this process that ultimately we are tied to our H2020 project deliverables and timelines. Unfortunately, having pushed it out as long as we could we had to make the call on it this week and will be formally withdrawing our foreshore licence application for this particular demonstration. As our first time going through this application process we want to sincerely thank all the supporters and various stakeholders that helped us get the application as far along as it did. It was really encouraging for us to see and means we will now look to a future project that we can bring to the area regarding the training and O&M aspects of our device.”
From the beginning there has been a huge display of public backing for this project and we received several letters of support from public bodies and the local community including Clare County Council and Shannon Foynes Port Company. Although we are withdrawing the current foreshore application, there is still a huge opportunity to develop a future renewable project in Clare. A demonstration of this nature full aligns with the SIFP and Clare County Development Plan as it promotes sustainable research and development of renewable energy technologies while maximising marine growth opportunities on the estuary. In April, Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council and Chair of the SIFP Steering Group stated:
“Clare County Council is fully supportive of establishing a tidal energy test site on the Fergus Estuary for the purpose of contributing to Ireland’s national renewable energy and green house gas reduction targets.”
We are not ruling out other deployment locations in the area and will still push to get a project off the ground here. This would provide an incredible opportunity to get a turbine in the water here in Ireland.