Wind energy – Ireland
Plans for a €1bn offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea off the coast of Dublin, Meath and Louth have moved a step closer with An Bord Pleanála being asked to carry out a preliminary assessment of the project.
North Irish Sea Array (NISA) Windfarm has lodged an application for a pre-application consultation with the board as part of the process for securing planning permission for the development.
The company which is owned by Statkraft, the Norwegian state-owned renewable energy provider, is planning to build an offshore wind farm of up to 36 fixed-base turbines arranged in three pods around 5km apart as well as an onshore grid connection point at Belcamp in Co. Dublin.
The pods will be located between 12.5km and 23.5km from the coast at their nearest points and in depths of water between 30m and 63m.
The offshore development covers an area of over 227 square km, spanning a total distance of 31km along the coast from Rush in Co. Dublin to Clogherhead in Co. Louth.
An Bord Pleanála is due to give its preliminary assessment of the plans by mid-September, while NISA Windfarm said it is targeting submitting a formal application for planning permission in 2022.
It hopes that construction could begin in 2024 with the turbines becoming operational in 2026.
The company claims the proposed offshore wind farm will have the capacity to provide renewable energy for up to 500,000 homes.