Selection And Justification Of The Optimum Marine Cable Route Between Rathlin Island And Ballycastle
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Selection and justification of the optimum marine cable route between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle
Rathlin Island located just off the North coast of Northern Ireland (NI) has been selected as a suitable location for the Government to place a new windfarm. As the Government tries to move away from non-renewable energy sources this proposal for the windfarm will provide electricity to the towns of County Antrim. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) are concerned that the marine cable route should have as little impact on the natural and cultural environments, this is because the EU believes that the natural and cultural environments and the heritage they contain are an important resource for economic growth and employment (European Commissions, 2016). As such have assigned the task of identifying a suitable low impact route for the cable from Church Bay (Rathlin Island) to Ballycastle (Co. Antrim).
To produce a marine cable that has a minimum impact on the natural and cultural environment the NIEA has given several guidelines that need to be followed.
The cable must:
1. Be trenched and re-filled at a depth of 2m, this means as much bedrock should be avoided as this will be a costly and timely process.
2. Avoid all shipwrecks
3. Avoid all slopes that exceed angles of 40°
4. Avoid all mobile substrates exceeding mean spring flows of 50cm/s
In order to identify and justify the optimum route for the marine