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SSE Soon to Submit Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 Offshore Planning Application

SSE Renewables plans to submit an offshore planning consent application to Ireland’s planning authority An Board Pleanála this week for the offshore infrastructure required for its proposed Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 project in the Irish Sea, the developer announced on 4 June.

The Maritime Area Planning Application is being submitted by Sure Partners Ltd. (SPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of FTSE 100 listed company SSE Plc under SSE Renewables.

The planning application proposes the construction of up to 56 wind turbines, depending on the final wind farm project design, located in an array area of around 63 square-kilometres on and around the Arklow Bank off the Wicklow and Wexford coast.

Each turbine would be installed on steel monopile foundations. The application also proposes two offshore substation platforms as well as associated export, inter-array, and interconnector subsea cabling that would connect the wind farm to Ireland’s national grid at a cabling landfall point at Johnstown North, north of Arklow Town.

Alongside the planning application, SSE Renewables has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report as well as a Natura Impact Statement in respect of the proposed development to An Bord Pleanála.

Subject to planning consent and a final investment decision by SSE, construction of Arklow Bank 2 could commence as early as 2026 with the first energy generated by 2029, contributing to Ireland’s target of at least 5 GW of offshore renewable energy by 2030.

Once operational, the up to 800 MW offshore wind project would be capable of producing enough renewable energy to displace over 800,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually while powering the equivalent of around 850,000 homes each year, said SSE Renewables.

Additionally, Arklow Bank 2 is expected to deliver an overall national economic benefit of up to EUR 800 million – around EUR 400 million of which will be local to the Wicklow and Wexford region – while supporting around 2,300 direct and indirect jobs throughout its delivery and operational lifetime.

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“Our team of over 50 renewable energy professionals supported by a dedicated local supply chain has been working hard to deliver SSE’s flagship Irish offshore wind farm – Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 – for almost seven years now,” said James O’Hara, Arklow Bank Project Director at SSE Renewables.

“In doing so, we’re fulfilling the pioneering vision of delivering commercial scale offshore wind at Arklow Bank which dates back almost 20 years to when the first seven turbines were installed at the site and became Ireland’s first and only operational offshore wind farm.”

The latest application marks the third and final planning consent required to move to the construction stage of the project.

SSE Renewables has already secured planning consent for the development of an operations and maintenance (O&M) base at Arklow Harbour, out of which around 80-full time employees would be based, as well as consent for the development of onshore cabling and a substation that would connect the Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 project to Ireland’s national grid.

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