Green energy developer SSE Renewables and Irish-owned Echelon Data Centres are to jointly develop a 220KW substation at the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow.
The new infrastructure is intended facilitate the development of SSE’s large-scale 520MW offshore wind and Echelon’s new €500 million 100MW data centre, for which planning permission was granted in July 2019.
The proposed substation, which is to be developed and constructed by SSE Renewables, is subject to planning permission.
The joint initiative marks the first time that an offshore wind farm and a data centre have agreed to develop grid infrastructure locally.
SSE Renewables is developing the Arklow Bank Wind Park off the Wicklow coastline. The wind farm has the potential to reduce the State’s annual carbon emissions by about 1 per cent. Echelon Data Centres, meanwhile, is constructing a 45,000sq m data centre site at the Avoca River Business Park.
The substation development is expected to require an investment of about €50 million, the companies said. The project will lead to the creation of 170 full-time jobs for Arklow, between the two developments.
“This is a major innovation for the integration of renewables and data centres into Ireland’s national grid,” said Barry Kilcline, director of developments at SSE Renewables.