SSE submits plans for ‘milestone’ Arklow Bank offshore windfarm

5 Jun 2024

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Planned to be operational in 2029, the offshore wind farm project is expected to have the capacity to power the equivalent of more than 830,000 homes each year.

Renewable energy company SSE Renewables has requested planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for its proposed Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 project in the Irish Sea.

Being developed off the coasts of Co Wicklow and north Co Wexford, the SSE Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 project is pitched as a “significant milestone” in its flagship Irish offshore wind farm project. The latest application marks the third and final planning consent required to move to the construction stage of the project.

If approved and operational, the 800MW offshore wind farm will be capable of producing enough renewable energy to displace more than 800,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions annually while powering the equivalent of more than 830,000 homes each year, the company claims.

SSE estimates that Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 will provide an economic boost of approximately €800m and support around 2,300 direct and indirect jobs throughout its delivery and operational lifetime. The company claims that around €400m of the economic benefit will be local to the Wicklow and Wexford region.

“We’re submitting what we believe is a robust and compelling planning application to deliver a world-class renewable energy asset at Arklow Bank using the very latest offshore technology that can generate the additional green energy Ireland needs to meet 2030 renewable energy targets,” said James O’Hara, project director at SSE.

While SSE has not revealed the cost of this wind farm project, a Business Post report puts this figure at €2bn.

“Arklow Bank is a unique and well-advanced project that enjoys widespread public and stakeholder support, especially among communities in south Wicklow and north Wexford. By delivering on the Arklow Bank vision we can make a significant contribution to climate action while bringing enormous national and regional socio-economic benefits.”

The project failed to secure an electricity supply contract in the Irish State’s first offshore wind auction last year. At the time, SSE managing director Stephen Wheeler expressed disappointment after the auction but said that the company remained “committed to its delivery”, according to the Irish Independent.

Construction of the project is expected to start in 2026 and first energy will be generated by 2029.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com