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SSE Renewables has confirmed its intention to apply for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) for its Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 project under the new consenting regime. SSE Renewables had been actively engaged in developing Arklow Bank Wind Park early, via the Foreshore Act.
With the introduction by Government of the Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act in December 2021, SSE Renewables will now progress the project via the newly introduced marine planning process. Although proceeding via the MAP process will mean delivery of the project will be later than the timescale initially envisaged under the Foreshore Act, it will unlock a substantial increase in capacity at the site. Transferring Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 to the MAP process allows SSE Renewables to revise the project and substantially increase the power generation output from the site to 800MW. The upscaled offshore wind energy project is expected to require an investment of up to €2.5 billion and, under current planning timelines, is expected to deliver in 2028, subject to a final investment decision. The project’s operations and maintenance base will continue to be located at Arklow Harbour’s South Dock. Furthermore, the proposed onshore underground cable route and the location of the substation at the Avoca River Business Park remain unchanged.
The decision by SSE Renewables to transfer Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park from the current route of delivery via the Foreshore Act into the MAC regime has been notified to both the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and to the Minister for Planning. The company’s offshore wind energy project will now progress through the MAC regime alongside other qualified Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) projects in the Irish Sea and off the west coast of the island.
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