A significant milestone on the road to kickstarting delivery of Ireland’s offshore wind targets has been reached this week as notice has been given of the intention to submit the first-ever planning application for the onshore grid infrastructure needed to connect an offshore wind farm to Ireland’s national transmission grid.
The application will be made in the coming weeks by leading renewable energy developer SSE Renewables to Ireland’s planning board, An Bord Pleanála, seeking planning permission to develop the onshore grid infrastructure necessary to connect the 520MW Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid.
The proposed development includes a 220kV substation at Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, with an associated transmission compound, connection compound and connection from the new substation to the existing national transmission network.
The plans also include an underground cable route connecting the proposed substation to the landfall point at Johnstown North, Arklow, where it will meet the planned subsea offshore cables connecting to the wind farm.
This application represents a significant milestone for the offshore wind industry as it the first time in Ireland’s history that a developer will seek consent for such infrastructure. The application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by SSE Renewables through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sure Partners Limited.
James O’Hara, Arklow Bank Project Manager at SSE Renewables, said: “We’re very proud that we have reached this important milestone. This imminent submission is the culmination of almost two years of work by members of our project team and is the first-ever application for onshore transmission grid infrastructure for an offshore wind farm in Ireland, marking yet another significant step forward in the delivery of the country’s first offshore wind farm of scale.”