SSE Renewables scores planning permission for Arklow Bank 2 base

SSE Renewables announced that the
Arklow Bank Phase 2 offshore wind project has secured planning permission for the development of a Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) in Arklow Harbour.

Approval was secured by SSE Renewables from Wicklow County Council in relation to the operations base proposed for South Dock.

Once operational, the facility will serve as the onshore support base used to control, operate and maintain the offshore wind farm during its operational lifetime. It will accommodate around 80 long term direct, local jobs during the operation of the offshore wind farm which will include site managers, supervisors, technicians, vessel crew, control room operators and engineers.

SSE Renewables claims hundreds more jobs will be created and sustained during the construction phase of the operations base and the wider wind farm project.

The four-storey Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) will also feature a Sustainable Education Centre on its top floor which will complement Arklow’s Decarbonisation Zone status. The Sustainable Education Centre is aimed to act as a link between the offshore wind farm and the local community and will have the capacity to accommodate exhibitions, guided tours and sustainability-themed events.

Within the South Dock, designated quayside and berth facilities will be constructed to accommodate four crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and a pontoon system will be installed to provide for safe boarding, loading and unloading of CTVs.

SSE Renewables is the first offshore wind energy developer to secure planning permission in Ireland to develop an operations and maintenance facility for an associated wind farm project.

Kaj Christiansen, Development Manager, SSE Renewables said: “We are extremely pleased to have planning permission granted for the Operations and Maintenance Facility which will support Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2’s offshore infrastructure. This means that another critical piece of the puzzle is now in place as we work to deliver this project by 2028. SSE Renewables is committed to building a state of the art facility in South Dock which will provide 80 local jobs for the town of Arklow and lead the way in the regeneration of Arklow Harbour and unlocking its long term potential.”

Arklow Bank lease area is situated 13 km off the Co. Wicklow coastline, to the east of Arklow, and covers an area approximately 27 km long and 2.5k m wide. It is located nearby the GE-owned Phase One project which consists of seven turbines, with an overall capacity of 25.2 MW. It started operations in 2004.

SSE Renewables' anticipates that
Arklow Bank Phase 2 will require an investment of up to €2.5 billion and, under current planning timelines, is expected to deliver first power in 2028 and completion in 2029, subject to a final investment decision. The developers are targeting delivery of up to 800MW of installed offshore wind energy under the Irish Government’s new Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act process. It has the potential to power almost 850,000 homes each year.

The company also submitted a Maritime Area Consent Application (MAC) to the Department of Environment, Communications and Climate in recent weeks.