Nicholas Pearson Associates

Projects /
Tunes Plateau Offshore Windfarm

Client:  B9/RES/Powergen

Location: Northern Ireland

Nicholas Pearson Associates were appointed by a consortium of B9 Energy, RES and Powergen to carry out a Seascape/Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment of the first offshore wind farm proposed for Northern Ireland. The scheme provided a substantial contribution to the target of 15% of NI Electricity to be met from renewables by the end of 2010 (5% more than the UK average).

The assessment was based on a nominal wind farm of 150-250 MW comprising 50-85 turbines, extending from 5km to 10km from the shoreline off the north coast of Ireland. This was a particularly sensitive proposal as it could have potentially affected the views from coastal areas of high scenic value which are an important tourism resource for Northern Ireland and Co Donegal.

Assessment of the seascape character and visibility of turbines at sea differs in many respects to on-shore wind farm assessment due to the cultural associations of the sea with the coastal area and the visual effects of structures at sea depending upon the scale, angle and elevation of the view.

The assessment process looked at mitigation of the number, sizes and layout of the turbines so that negative impacts are minimised to an acceptable level. Computer generated ZVI's and photomontages were used to show the impacts from important viewpoints in the area.

Our study formed part of the overall Environmental Impact Assessment of the scheme.