SSE Renewables plans to seek consent for €2.5bn Irish Sea wind farm

Energy group confirms it intends seeking a marine area consent under a new regime announced by the Government this week

Energy group SSE Renewables plans to seek consent for its €2.5 billion Irish Sea wind farm under a new regime announced by the Government this week.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, this week invited developers planning offshore electricity projects to seek marine area consents under the new Marine Area Planning Act.

SSE Renewables confirmed on Thursday that it intended seeking a marine area consent under the regime announced by Mr Ryan.

Offshore projects must first get this consent before applying to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission.

SSE Renewables, part of the same group as electricity and gas supplier Airtricity, intends building a wind farm on the Arklow Bank off Co Wicklow capable of supplying almost 850,000 homes with power.

The company calculates that the offshore electricity project will need investment of €2.5 billion and should be ready to begin generating power by 2028.

It has already earmarked Arklow Harbour’s south dock as its onshore operations base, which will employ 80 people.

SSE Renewables has also pledged to begin a draft environmental impact assessment for the project later this year.

Barry Kilcline, director of offshore development Ireland, SSE Renewables, said the company remained committed to the project and the Co Wicklow/north Co Wexford area.

“We expect to be able to invest around €2.5 billion in the revised project to deliver a new 800 mega-watt offshore wind farm by 2028,” he added.

Mr Kilcline noted that this would produce substantially greater power generation output at Arklow Bank than under the company's previous plans.

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