At the end of this month, offshore surveys will start at two wind farm sites off Ireland: Arklow Bank and North Irish Sea Array.
For the Arklow Bank project, DEME’s Neptune will be deployed off the Wicklow coast for a geotechnical survey that will be taking place until the end of August, subject to weather conditions.
The survey will include drilling approximately eight boreholes at discrete locations within four areas at the project site in order to provide site investigation information to facilitate the development of the Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2, which is planned to have a maximum capacity of up to 800 MW and to consist of up to 62 turbines.
The offshore wind farm is being developed by SSE Renewables, which recently confirmed plans to apply for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) for the project under Ireland’s new consenting regime and will to therefore commission the project in 2028 and not in 2025 as initially planned.
For the NISA offshore wind farm, Fugro will carry out a geophysical survey campaign off the coast of North County Dublin, Meath, and Louth. The campaign is expected to start around 27 May and to be completed by 30 June, weather permitting.
Fugro will deploy its vessel Fugro Mercator on the project and utilise multibeam echosounders, sub-bottom profilers, side-scan sonar, and a magnetometer to perform the survey.
The 530 MW North Irish Sea Array is one of the seven developments that were designated as “relevant projects” by the Irish Government in 2020 and invited to submit applications for Maritime Area Consents (MACs), the first of which are expected to be issued in the second half on this year.
The North Irish Sea Array project is owned by Statkraft, which bought the project as part of the acquisition of Element Power in late 2018, after Element Power acquired the project from Gaelectric, which was developing NISA together with Oriel, the company behind the 330 MW Oriel offshore wind project.
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