Irish energy provider and renewable energy developer, Energia Renewables, has finished seabed surveys for the South Irish Sea offshore wind project, located off the coast of Wexford and Wicklow.
The geotechnical and geophysical surveys, carried out over several months between April and October 2022, following the granting of a Foreshore Licence in 2021, measured important information about the seabed and conditions at the offshore sites off Wexford and Wicklow.
“We’re at an exciting stage of the South Irish Sea project off the coast of Wexford and south Wicklow. The information from these surveys will materially progress our understanding of the sites and inform the future project development. We’re very grateful to the fishing community across the south-east for their engagement and discussions with us, which helped us to successfully complete these surveys, and to everyone who has taken part in our consultation processes and our public information clinics to date. We will continue to consult with fishing and local communities and will provide regular updates on our South Irish Sea project on an ongoing basis. We welcome anyone who would like to get in touch about this project to do so and we welcome any inputs,” said Eoin McPartland, Energia Renewables’ Offshore Manager.
The next phase of the South Irish Sea project is the design stage where decisions on the number, size, and suitable locations of the wind turbines will be made.
“It’s a great achievement to get these surveys completed as the availability of survey vessels around the world is very scarce and subject to significant supply chain constraints. So this is very significant as it confirms that we can contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s 2030 climate action targets. We will now progress to more detailed design and consultation ahead of the establishment of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) where we will apply for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC). It is critical that this process is initiated and available to projects such as the South Irish Sea project as soon as possible to allow for the achievement of Ireland’s climate action targets. Following the MAC grant, the project will go ahead with a formal planning application in due course,“ McPartland said.
According to Energia Renewables, once all approvals are in place, assuming there are no delays, construction of the offshore wind farm, planned to have a generation capacity of between 600 MW and 800 MW, could start as early as 2026.
In addition to the South Irish Sea project, Energia Renewables is also progressing with the North Celtic Sea offshore wind project off the coast of Waterford.
“The seabed surveys for this project have also been completed and this will add to our potential to contribute to energy sustainability for the south-east and Ireland,“ McPartland said.
“Given that the development timeline for these projects is up to 10 years, it’s essential that the small number of early-stage projects, like the South Irish Sea and North Celtic Sea, that have made significant progress to date, continue to achieve key development milestones enabling them to play a part in Ireland’s 2030 energy system,” McPartland said.
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