Ireland Offshore Wind Plans
Ireland is fast-tracking the development of its offshore wind sector.
Ireland is fast-tracking the development of its offshore wind sector in line with its 2019 Climate Action Plan. In May 2020, the Irish government announced project status for seven offshore renewable energy projects. The offshore wind projects have been in varying stages of planning and development in recent years and being granted ‘Relevant Projects’ status will enable fast-tracking to construction and implementation. Ireland’s 2019 Climate Action Plan commits to increasing the country’s offshore wind capacity to 3.5GW as part of the government’s ambition to deliver 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
The seven approved projects primarily feature Irish and/or European entities as the lead partners in the proposals. The specific projects granted ‘Relevant Projects’ status are:
- 330-MW Oriel Wind Park led by ESB (Ireland) and Parkwind (Belgium)
- 600-MW Dublin Array (comprising two projects Kish Banks and Bray Banks) led by Innogy Renewables (Germany)
- 1-GW Codling Wind Park (comprising two projects, Codling I and Codling II), led by Fred Olsen Renewables (Norway) and EDF (France)
- 100-MW Skerd Rocks by Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (Ireland)
The specific locations of the projects are mapped in this Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) report
To date, Ireland only has one operational offshore wind project - the 25.2-MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 1, which is owned and operated by GE Energy, The project was co-developed in 2004 by Airtricity (now SSE Renewables) and GE Energy as a demonstrator project and remains the first and only operational offshore wind farm in Ireland. SSE Renewables has plans for a second phase of development at Arklow Bank involving a 520-MW offshore wind farm.
According to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), the Irish government’s decision to fast-track these seven projects will energize Ireland’s offshore wind industry and put Ireland on the path to achieving its 2030 targets for offshore wind. The IWEA has published a comprehensive analysis of Ireland’s potential offshore wind energy supply chain that highlights measures needed to underpin the sector’s planned development.