Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
By Dara Bradley
More than 70% of Galway’s electricity needs – sufficient to power 236,000 homes in the county – could be generated through wind energy by 2020, according to targets set out by Galway County Council.
Galway also has the potential to become a ‘net exporter’ of energy if it develops other renewable energy options such as ocean and wave energy, which would enable the county to supply more electricity than is consumed here.
But in order to achieve these targets The County Galway Wind Energy Strategy 2011-2016 indicates that the county’s electricity grid will have to be developed and expanded further if it is to be able to facilitate more wind farms and turbines.
The strategy, however, has identified that just one per cent of the county, in an area between Moycullen and Oughterard, as ‘Strategic Areas’ (where wind energy is considered appropriate), and 48% of the county, including the vast majority of Connemara, hinterlands of Oranmore, and South Galway between Gort and Portumna, are labelled ‘Not Normally Permissible Areas”, which are generally not suitable for the development of wind farms.
The areas are labelled ‘Not Normally Permissible’ because of environmental and heritage designations such as SACs. A further 32% of the county is considered not suitable for commercial wind farm development because wind speeds in these areas are too slow. This area is between Gort and Portumna.
The strategy sets out that at a minimum 40% of Galway’s electricity needs can be met from renewable energy sources but it will “work towards” a target of 500 MW of wind energy by 2020, the equivalent of 70% of the county’s needs.
County Manager Martina Moloney told the meeting that Galway has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and this strategy was aimed at tapping into its potential.
The strategy would give an indication to potential developers and investors in wind farms, what parts of the county would be most suited to wind farm development.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.