Irish Offshore Wind Project Moves Towards Survey Phase

The Oriel offshore wind project in Ireland is getting ready for the start of site surveys after having secured a license by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The investigation works are scheduled to commence in August at the site off the coast of Dundalk in dialogue with the stakeholders and the local community.

According to project owner ESB, the surveys will record data on the wind and seabed conditions at the site, needed mainly for the engineering design of the turbine foundations.

“The license to commence two important surveys marks another significant milestone in the Oriel Project. This allows us to add wind data gathering and soil data surveys to our already ongoing ecological surveys on the site," said Peter Caluwaerts, Project Director.

"A buoy containing equipment that will measure the specific wind data of the Oriel offshore site for a year will be deployed in August this year. The soil investigation campaign is also due to start in August."

ESB said the license comes in the right time as the Government published the Climate Action Plan which sets a target of 3.5GW of offshore wind to be developed in the next ten years that will help renewables account for 70% of electricity generation.

“The Climate Action Plan that came out earlier this week clearly highlights the need to advance on these works. With the support of our dedicated main shareholders Parkwind and ESB, it is our ambition to make Oriel Windfarm the first large scale offshore wind farm in Ireland, thus contributing to the wider goals of the Irish Government on energy transition," said Caluwaerts.

Parkwind got onboard the Oriel project in October 2017, when it agreed on investment to become a strategic partner in the 330MW offshore wind farm.

At the beginning of the year, ESB reached an agreement with Parkwind to acquire an up to 35% stake in the project. Oriel is planned to begin commercial operations in the early 2020s.

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