SSE Renewables has selected Arklow Harbour as the preferred location for the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the second phase of the Arklow Bank offshore wind farm.
The developer has been assessing the Wicklow Port and Arklow Harbour as possible locations for the project’s O&M base since early 2019.
The Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 site is located off the East Coast of County Wicklow in the Irish Sea.
The project, with a consented minimum installed capacity of 520 MW, is planned to be built by 2025.
The O&M base, to be set up at Arklow Harbour’s South Dock, will comprise new purpose-built office and warehouse buildings, as well as adjacent quayside berthing for up to four crew transfer vessels.
SSE Renewables has entered into land option agreements at Arklow’s South Dock, including an option to purchase an industrial yard on the harbour’s South Dock for the development of offices and warehousing.
The developer has also entered into option agreements to “step into” two existing lease agreements with Wicklow County Council for adjoining industrial land, as well as an area of quayside at the South Dock for vessel berthing and pontoons.
“Around 80 full-time employees will be recruited in the coming years to work out of the base to operate and maintain the wind farm, ensuring we safely and reliably generate renewable energy to power half a million homes daily and meet Ireland’s carbon reduction targets”, said Barry Kilcline, Director of Development at SSE Renewables.
SSE Renewables will now commence a development programme for the O&M base, including entering discussions with Wicklow County Council in the coming months to agree updates to existing lease agreements, and applying to the local authority in early 2021 for planning permission for the purpose-built complex.