SSE Renewables, part of the same group as Airtricity, will spend €15 million on boosting facilities at Arklow Harbour in Co Wicklow to support its planned giant offshore wind farm.
The company is working on a proposed offshore wind farm off Co Wicklow’s coast, where it will invest between €1 billion and €2 billion in coming years.
SSE Renewables has unveiled plans for an operations and maintenance facility on Arklow Harbour’s south dock to support the development and is asking locals for their views on the project.
A statement estimated that the cost of building the new centre, which includes offices and ship berths, will be around €15 million.
The company intends developing a disused site in Arklow Harbour known as the Old Shipyard. It estimates that building the operations and maintenanc centre will employ 60 people.
Once it is complete, the harbour operation will have around 80 full-time employees, who SSE Renewables will hire once the wind farm begins supplying power.
SSE intends removing an existing disused lift for moving loads between ships and the dock.
It will replace this with berthing and pontoon facilities for crew transfer vessels, which will transport maintenance workers to and from wind turbines every day.
A four-storey building will accommodate site managers, supervisors, technicians, control-room operators, engineers, ship crews, stores and administrators, SSE Renwables says.
The plans also provide for landscaping and improved public lighting, the compny adds.
The company, part of London-listed SSE intends building a wind farm on Arklow Bank, covering an area between 6km and 13km offshore, that will supply up to 2,520 mega watts of electcricity.
It will seek planning permission from Wicklow County Council later this summer for the harbour development.
Ahead of that, it has begun a three-week public consultation that will run to June 25th to canvass the views of locals and other groups.
James O’Hara, Arklow Bank wind park project manager predicted that the new building would kick-start the harbour’s regeneration.
“It is also from this building where 80 full-time employees will be based for decades to come,” he added.
Andre Negri, architect and founder of Dublin-based Studio Negri, dubbed it a "trailblazing" project.
“We wanted to ensure the operations and maintenance facility is designed to deliver a high-performing, state-of-the-art facility, with minimum impact on the environment, and powered by renewable energy sources,” he explained.
Part of London-listed SSE plc, SSE Renewables maintains that it is currently working on more green power plants than any other company across the globe.
It is building the world biggest offshore wind farm, a 3.6 giga watt electricity plant on Dogger Bank in the North Sea, in partnership with multi-national players Equinor and Eni.
SSE Renewables is also working on Scotland's biggest offshore wind, Seagreen in the Firth of Forth, a joint venture wil French oil major, Total.
The company rund on and offshore wind farms, hydro power, pumped storage and other renewable energy businesses.
SSE Renewables is the British government's main sponsorship partner for COP 26 Climate Summit at Glasgow in November this year.