SSE Renewables has received planning permission from An Bord Pleanála to build its wind park off the Co Wicklow coast.
The permission will allow it to develop the onshore grid infrastructure necessary to connect the 800MW Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid.
The decision will be a first for Ireland’s offshore wind sector, with SSE Renewables the first renewable energy company to secure planning permission to develop onshore transmission grid infrastructure for an Irish offshore wind farm.
“We’re delighted to have received this decision from An Bord Pleanála, and to have achieved this critical milestone in the development of the Arklow Bank Wind Park, Phase 2,” said Kaj Christiansen, Arklow Bank Development Manager at SSE Renewables.
“This consent is the culmination of almost three years of work by members of our project team, and our consultants, ARUP, as well as supportive stakeholders,” he said.
“The decision brings SSE Renewables a step closer in delivering the next phase of Arklow Bank Wind Park, and our ambition to unlock investment, deliver jobs and local community benefits, and critically help achieve Ireland’s climate action targets by 2030,” he added.
The decision comes just ahead of the upcoming application by SSE Renewables to the Government for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) to allow it to proceed to apply for planning permission for the project’s offshore infrastructure including offshore wind turbines, offshore substation platforms, and subsea cables.
In its planning decision today, An Bord Pleanála approved the development of a 220kV substation at Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow, with an associated connection from the new substation to the existing national transmission network.
The development also includes an underground cable route and associated infrastructure connecting the substation to the landfall point at Johnstown North, Arklow, where it will meet the planned subsea offshore cables connecting to the wind farm.
SSE Renewables is actively developing Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park which will be located in an area situated six to 13km off the Co Wicklow coastline, to the east of Arklow.
The development is targeting delivery of up to 800MW of installed offshore wind energy under the Irish Government’s new Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act process.
This means the next phase of offshore wind energy development at Arklow Bank would have the potential to power almost 850,000 homes each year and offset around 830 billion kilos of carbon emissions a year.
The offshore wind energy project is expected to require an investment of up to €2.5 billion and, under current planning timelines, is expected to deliver first power in 2028 and completion in 2029, subject to a final investment decision.
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