Saturday, August 8, 2020

innogy Applauds Ireland's Offshore Wind Push

May 22, 2020

Illustration only. Image by Peterjohn Chisholm - AdobeStock

innogy Renewables Ireland, the joint developer of Dublin Array Offshore Wind Farm, has this week welcomed the announcement by Ireland's Minister of State, Damien English TD, of a clear road map for the development of offshore wind energy in Ireland. 

The government earlier this week announced the seven offshore wind energy projects that have been designated as Relevant Projects. 

These are offshore wind projects that either applied for or were granted a lease under the Foreshore Act 1933, or offshore wind projects that are eligible to be processed to receive a valid grid connection offer. The Climate Action Plan commits to increasing Ireland's offshore wind capacity to 3.5GW as part of our overall ambition to reach 70% renewable energy by 2030.

The government's announcement means that those offshore wind projects can continue to work and update a number of aspects of their projects so that they will be in a position to apply under the new marine planning regime, once enacted, which will be introduced by the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill, 2020.

Dublin Array Project Director, Peter Lefroy, welcomed the announcement: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to progressing the Climate Action Plan targets, and particularly the development of offshore wind in Ireland. Renewable energy, including offshore and onshore wind, can play an even bigger role than currently envisaged to de-carbonize our society.

Dublin Array construction could start in 2024

innogy's Dublin Array constitutes two of the seven projects which have been supported by the Government within the first phase of offshore wind development in Ireland. These being Bray and Kish Banks.

Dublin Array is located on the Kish and Bray Banks, 10km from the coast of Dublin and Wicklow Counties. The Dublin Array Project is expected to generate around 600-1000 MW, enough electricity to power up to 750,000 homes. 

Subject to a successful updated consent application and subject to an investment decision by the project partners, construction could begin in 2024, with the project fully operational in 2026. Dublin Array has the capacity to make a vital contribution to Ireland’s 70% target for renewable energy by 2030.

"Covid-19 has created great uncertainty in many industries and we recognize the Government’s efforts to continue to move forward under such difficult circumstances. This announcement helps maintain important momentum in Ireland’s offshore wind sector and will drive investment and job creation in Ireland in the coming years. 

"This is in addition to the anticipated community benefit program that the Government has already suggested as part of new renewable development. We look forward to continuing the development of Dublin Array and to playing a leading role in the offshore wind sector in Ireland.”

The Dublin Array project is currently in the development phase; gathering information to refresh the environmental reporting and project design. The data collection will continue into the Summer of 2020. innogy plans to start an extensive period of stakeholder and community consultation early in Autumn 2020 so that the views of all stakeholders and interested parties can be taken into consideration as the company finalizes the project design and moves towards submitting planning applications.

Ireland's Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton said earlier this week that the government's action sets out "a clear development path for these offshore wind projects which will play a key role in decarbonizing our electricity system."

"This is a clear example of the Government's determination to deliver on our climate and renewable energy ambitions to deliver 70% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030."

The projects that have been approved are:

Oriel Wind Park,
Innogy Renewables, (2 projects Bray and Kish Banks),
Codling Wind Park, (2 projects, Codling I and Codling II),
Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta, (Skerd Rocks),  
North Irish Sea Array Ltd,   (North Irish Sea Array)

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