TOURISM chiefs have objected to a €2bn plan for up to 145 wind turbines in Dublin Bay.
Wicklow County Tourism made the objection ahead of the project's public consultation deadline yesterday.
The large-scale proposal would see turbines of 330ft in height or taller being built 10km from the coastline.
If given the go-ahead, renewable power firm Saorgus Energy Ltd would begin construction at the offshore Kish and Bray Banks within five years.
The tourism body is objecting to the project, called Dublin Array, on the grounds of its size and proximity to the coast.
It believes the scheme would have a "serious detrimental impact" on the natural beauty of the Wicklow coast because of its visibility from land.
The organisation also said all the energy generated will be exported, highlighting the fact that Ireland does not need a wind farm.
In addition, it has questioned the impact the project would have on Wicklow's natural heritage assets such as near shore shallow sandbanks and marine wildlife. Taking into consideration the Arklow Bank wind farm and the Codling Wind Park, it expressed concern about the "industrialisation" of the coastline.
"In total, these developments will involve 565 turbines and cover a total area of 187km sq. They will fence in and industrialise the entire coastline, significantly altering the character and quality of all the coastal views and prospects listed for protection in the Wicklow County Development Plan," the group's tourism development officer Frederic Verdier told the Wicklow People.
Saorgus said the wind farm would generate enough green electricity to meet the demands of over 450,000 homes, as well as create 850 jobs.
The majority of the energy produced would most likely be exported.
Saorgus, a Kerry-based Irish-owned firm, produced an environmental impact statement.