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Seven Irish offshore wind farms secure Maritime Area Consent

Ireland’s first Maritime Area Consents (MACs) have been granted to Phase One projects by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, with a commencement date of 23 December 2022.

Developers who have been assessed for, and are subsequently awarded, a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) can then proceed to apply for development permission (planning permission) from An Bord Pleanála, where the project proposals will undergo environmental assessment.

Successful applicant include,
Oriel Wind Park, Arklow Bank - phase 2, Bray and Kish Banks, Codling, Skerd Rocks and North Irish Sea Array.

Any project that has been awarded a Maritime Area Consent is eligible to partake in the ORESS 1, the first auction for offshore wind under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. The Government approved the Terms and Conditions of ORESS 1 on 9 November 2022. The qualification stage is expected to take place in early 2023, and the auction results are scheduled to be published in June 2023.

Under special transition provisions in the Act, the Minister for the Environment, Climate Communications had the responsibility for assessing and granting Maritime Area Consents (MACs) for this first batch of offshore projects.

Following this initial batch of MACs, responsibility will be handed over to the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) – a dedicated maritime area agency which is a priority for the Government from early 2023. Once established, MARA will assume responsibility for any MACs granted by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and assume responsibility for management of these Phase One MACs.

Ireland is targeting 7 GW of offshore wind by the end of the decade, and the government is planning at least three offshore energy auctions between now and then.
There is further commitment in the Programme for Government to develop a longer-term plan to harness the potential 30GW of offshore floating wind power in Atlantic waters.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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