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First Flight wind farm

First Flight wind farm
Country Northern Ireland
Location Irish Sea, off County Down coast

54°05′10″N 5°38′02″W / 54.086°N 5.634°W / 54.086; -5.634Coordinates: 54°05′10″N 5°38′02″W / 54.086°N 5.634°W / 54.086; -5.634{{#coordinates:54.086|-5.634|type:landmark|||||| |primary |name=

Status planning
Wind farm
Type Offshore
Power generation
Nameplate capacity ~300-400MW

First Flight wind farm was a late 2000s proposed offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, southeast of the southern coast of County Down, North Ireland.


In 2009 the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment of Northern Ireland published a draft strategic plan for offshore renewable energy, which proposed a target of 600MW offshore wind by 2020.[1] a study examined the Northern Ireland coastline to the 12 nm limit, and identified two potential wind farm sites: one northeast of Lough Foyle and north of Portstewart (Zone 1) with estimatated capacity 600MW); and one east of County Down, (Zone 2) with estimated capacity 900MW. Taking into account acceptable levels of negative environmental impact the developable wind zones were estimated at yielding 300 and 600MW of generating capacity respectively.[2]

In December 2011 The Crown Estate began a tendering process for offshore renewable energy in Northern Ireland, including a 600MW wind farm site off the County Down coast,[3] the wind farm site was within a smaller area of the region identified by the 2009 study. The wind farm site was ~8 km from the coast of Ireland, with an area of Script error: No such module "convert"., with water depths of Script error: No such module "convert"..[4] In October 2012 First Flight Wind consortium (Dong Energy Power (UK) Limited, Renewable Energy Systems Limited (RES) and B9 Energy Offshore Developments Limited.[5]) was awarded the development rights to the wind farm zone:[6] the company estimated that around Script error: No such module "convert". would need to be developed for a wind farm of 600MW capacity.[7]

In 2014 First Flight Wind published an environmental scoping report for consultation.[8][9] The developing company's initial (2014) estimates of the development process are for development of an application to be submitted c.2016, which if consented (period less than 1 year) would enter require a year for the design and contracts to be finalised, with construction taking place between late 2017 and 2021.[10]

In 2014 the scale of the wind farm was reduced to minimise effects on shipping (Warrenpoint-Heysham) and fishing (Nephrops prawn); the resultant development had an estimated generating capacity of 300-400MW.[11][12]

In 2014 the developers abandoned the wind farm plans due to an unfavourable regulatorary process and insufficient development incentives.[13][14]


  1. ^ Offshore Renewable Energy Strategic Action Plan 2009-2020 (consultation) (Dec 2009) p.19
  2. ^ SEA -NTS (Dec 2009) p.2; fig.C, p.11; table 6, p.19; table 9. p23
  3. ^ NI offshore renewable energy programme opened up, The Crown Estate, 15 December 2011 
  4. ^ Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.5-3.8, pp.6-7; fig.3.1, p.7; 4.6, p.10
  5. ^ Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 1.1, p.1
  6. ^ Northern Ireland green energy licences granted, BBC News, 10 Oct 2012 
  7. ^ Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.10, p.7
  8. ^ First Flight Wind Publishes Offshore Scoping Report, Down District Council, 3 March 2014 
  9. ^ Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014)
  10. ^ Offshore Scoping Report (Feb 2014) 3.12, p.8; fig.3.2, p.8
  11. ^ "Deep cut at 600MW First Flight",, 17 June 2014 
  12. ^ "First Flight Wind identifies preferred target capacity for offshore wind project",, 17 June 2014 
  13. ^ "First Flight dumps NI offshore plan",, 2 Dec 2014 
  14. ^ O'Neill, Julian (2 Dec 2014), "County Down offshore wind farm plans scrapped", BBC News Northern Ireland 


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