A NEW public park which will generate its own electricity from wind turbines has been opened in north Dublin.
The 52 acre Fr Collins Park in Donaghmede has been described as Ireland’s first sustainable park. It will derive all its power from five wind turbines which have been installed at a cost of €1.2 million.
The five turbines will generate about 250KW an hour when the wind is blowing or the equivalent of €400,000 worth of electricity a year at full price, though the actual figure will be less than that.
It is hoped, however, that the turbines will pay for themselves by generating enough power to floodlight Fr Collins Park while also powering the five dressing rooms, maintenance buildings and its water features.
It was opened yesterday by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Eibhlin Byrne and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.
The archbishop noted that the community had named the park after local parish priest Fr Joe Collins, who died 30 years ago.
“That sort of witness has been relativised in the eyes of many,” he said in reference to the scandals involving the clergy in recent weeks.
Dublin City Council will monitor the wind turbines over the next year to see if they can meet targets. It is seeking to power as many of its services as possible in the future through renewable sources, a key part of its new energy strategy.
One proposal being actively looked at is to use wind turbines to power the city’s water services in Blessington. Another is to provide energy for the greenhouses in St Anne’s Park using wind turbines.
Gerry Wardell, the director of the City of Dublin Energy Management Agency, said the five wind turbines would have “huge community and educational value” locally.
“The concept of wind turbines in cities is quite new. This is one of the leading examples anywhere,” Mr Wardell said.
The park will contain a 1.5 kilometre cycling track and an amphitheatre for outdoor theatre and concerts.
The Fr Collins Park project began in September 2007 and was designed by the Argentinian architects Abelleyro and Romero. They delivered the €20 million project on time and within budget.