Ireland Pinpoints Four Areas Off South Coast for Offshore Wind Projects

Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ray, has published the draft South Coast Designated Maritime Area Plan (DMAP), which identifies four proposed areas off the south coast of Ireland for offshore wind projects.

The draft South Coast DMAP, Ireland’s first-ever spatial plan for renewable energy at sea, proposes that the first offshore wind project with a capacity of approximately 900 MW will take place in “Tonn Nua”, off the coast of County Waterford, and will aim for deployment by 2030.

In addition, the draft also proposes the development of further offshore wind projects over the next decade. These projects will be located in areas such as “Lí Ban”, off the coast of County Waterford, as well as “Manannán” and “Danu”, both situated along the south coast of County Wexford.

“This is a hugely significant milestone – the first time the State has developed a forward spatial plan for renewable energy at this scale,” said Minister Ryan.

“We can now plan to run an auction, and the winners can then proceed to deal with a brand-new purpose-developed regulator (MARA) before applying to An Bord Pleanála for development permission.”

The publication of the South Coast DMAP follows shortly after Minister Ryan launched the Future Framework for Offshore Renewable Energy, which provides a roadmap for Ireland to deliver at least 37 GW of offshore wind by 2050.

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The four maritime areas proposed for offshore renewable energy (ORE) projects have been identified following an environmental assessment process and an almost year-long engagement process with coastal communities and stakeholders, de-risking the DMAPs as much as possible, according to the ministry.

The draft South Coast DMAP and accompanying environmental assessments will undergo a six-week statutory public consultation period.

“What is also critical is that at all stages of its development, the draft South Coast DMAP has been informed and shaped by close co-operation with local communities and with consideration for all maritime activities, including fishing and seafood production and environmental protection,” said Minister Ryan.

An independent economic analysis, published alongside the draft South Coast DMAP, highlights the potential economic benefits associated with the implementation of the plan, which could deliver inward investment of EUR 4.4 billion and an estimated 49,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) years of employment to the Irish economy.

The analysis further highlights that more than 65 per cent of inward investment and employment opportunities could be captured by the south coast region.


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