Ireland Releases Offshore Wind Auction Rules, Expects to Secure 2.5 GW in Capacity

The Irish Government has approved terms and conditions for the country’s first auction to supply electricity from offshore wind under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1) which is expected to secure up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind capacity.

Arklow Bank offshore wind farm in Ireland. Image source: Alpha Marine

The pre-qualification stage will launch next month while the qualification stage and the auction process are planned to take place in the first half of 2023.

The final results are expected to be published by June 2023.

A final ORESS 1 auction calendar will be published by EirGrid shortly, the Irish government said.

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Projects, developed via ORESS, will be required to make Community Benefit Fund contributions, from the construction phase and continuing for the duration of the support period, typically for a total period of 25 years.

Projects which have been awarded a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) are eligible to partake in the ORESS 1 auction.

Seven projects, known as “Relevant Projects”, were deemed ready to apply for MAC in Spring 2022 and those are Oriel Wind Park, RWE’s Bray and Kish BanksCodling Wind Park I and IIFuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (Skerd Rocks), and North Irish Sea Array (NISA).

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“The first stage of this transformative auction will start before Christmas and it sets us on a path to powering many more of our homes and businesses from our own green energy resources over the coming years”, said Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment.

“It follows the enactment of the Maritime Area Planning Act last year, and the announcement regarding the awarding of Maritime Area Consents to Phase One projects last month.”

EDF Renewables and Fred. Olsen Seawind, the developers of the largest Irish offshore wind farm (1.5 GW Codling Wind offshore wind project), applied for MAC in June this year.

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In July, Ireland raised its offshore wind target for 2030 from 5 GW to 7 GW after reaching an agreement on Sectoral Emissions Ceilings.

“The publication of these ORESS 1 Terms and Conditions is another massive step forward – for offshore wind, for Irish climate leadership and towards Ireland’s future as an international green energy hub”, said Ryan.

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