A consortium that is aiming to build a brand new wind farm in Northern Ireland is set to take its plans to members of the public in order to hear what they have to say about them.
First Flight Wind - which is a body made up of B9 Energy, DONG Energy and RES - is hoping to oversee the development of a wind farm off the coast of County Down. It is also behind a scheme that would see turbines added to Belfast port.
It is now going through a two-year process in which the development is designed and assessed before it applies for permission to build it, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Should the County Down site become a reality, it will generate enough electricity to power as much as a fifth of Northern Ireland.
The fact it could be up and running by 2020 is another major boost for the country, as it will help it to meet renewable energy and carbon targets. In addition, there are economic advantages to the scheme, such as the creation of energy jobs and a reduction in the amount of fuel that must be imported.
Overall, the new wind farm would have a capacity of 600 megawatts, making it one of the largest developments ever to be completed in Northern Ireland. It would significantly add to the nation's infrastructure and put it in a strong position to generate wind energy for decades to come.
First Flight Wind must also overcome one hurdle put in its way by the Crown Estate. As the owner of the seabed, the body first began looking for a developer to carry out the project in October last year and First Flight Wind still needs to gain all the relevant consents.
It must investigate exactly what impact the wind farm will have on the people of Northern Ireland, local fisheries and harbours, wildlife and recreation before pressing ahead with the next stage of the plans.