Bord na Móna - Source Issue 12 - (Page 10)

A BUMPER HARVEST, NEW FACES ON THE BOARD, WIND ENERGY PLANS, AND MERGER TALKS - THESE ARE BUSY TIMES FOR BORD NA MÓNA AND CEO GABRIEL D'ARCY A BRIGHT FUTURE BECKONS Q What have been the key developments in Bord na Móna since your last interview in the Source Summer 2012 magazine? The fact that the peat harvest in 2012 was the worst in living memory made us realise how much we rely on peat. But we made the difficult decisions necessary to get through that period. Then, after the hard work put in by Feedstock in preparing the bogs and equipment to get out early, the dry spring and good summer, we had a record harvest in terms of the quality and quantity of peat. So, we made up fully the losses from last year. Elsewhere, Resource Recovery turned a corner after a difficult few years where the economy collapsed and the structure of the industry needed to be reshaped. All the staff there deserve applause for staying calm during a difficult time - Resource Recovery is now based in Newbridge and adds to the commerciality of the company. 2013 will also be known as the year when Bord na Móna launched our 2GW Clean Energy Hub, the most significant development in the 10 | Source Winter 2013 company's history. It brings together our core skills and competencies, our landbank, peatland engineering, and PowerGen's capabilities. It shows a market-oriented approach where we're looking at the energy market in the UK and delivering a project of scale to meet that market demand. Meanwhile, our projects in Mount Lucas and Bruckana are focused on the Irish grid. These are significant onshore projects, designed, built, financed and operated by Bord na Móna. Q Wind farm developments have caused controversy, particularly in the midlands. What is your view on that? I feel that people need to consider three interlocking factors. Ireland has the best wind resource of any Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or Western European country, so that's a resource we can leverage. In addition, the technology has moved ahead in leaps and bounds in terms of capturing and converting wind into electricity. Twenty one years ago, when we opened the 7.5MW Oweninny wind farm, the turbines were 30 metres in height with a rated output of 330KW. Today, in Mount Lucas and Bruckana, the turbines are 100 metres high with a rated output of 3MW, so they're more efficient. Thirdly, nobody wants massive turbines at every crossroads, which is why they should be located away from population centres and in locations with a good wind resource. Uniquely, Bord na Móna has large expanses of land far away from conurbations and a lot of property adjacent to our land is away from population centres. We have the landmass, the technology, and the wind resource, so it's logical for Bord na Móna to develop our post-industrial peatlands. In relation to any health concerns about wind farms, we have operated a commercial wind farm for 21 years in Bellacorrick, Co. Mayo. We have no record, to my knowledge, of medical complaints in relation to that wind farm, nor am I aware of any scientific accepted evidence of any health risks associated with wind farms. But I can accept that different people will have different issues with wind turbines and their location.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bord na Móna - Source Issue 12

Bord Na MóNa - Source Issue 12
Brown Gold
A Bright Future Beckons
Clean Energy Hub
A Good Year
Game On!
Sales Force
Project Update
Heritage Corner

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 12