First public consultation 19th October – 26th November, 2021
A first public consultation for the South Irish Sea project was held from 19th October – 26th November, 2021. This consultation provided an early opportunity to learn about the South Irish Sea project, meet the team, and provide your views on the project.
As part of this consultation, Energia’s project team held a public webinar on Tuesday, 9th November, 2021. The webinar provided an overview of the South Irish Sea project and included a Q&A session. A recording of the webinar can be viewed below. Indicative photo illustrations were also published as part of this consultation and can be viewed below.
We wish to thank everyone who took part in the first consultation. Your feedback is important and can help to shape the development of the South Irish Sea project.
Our liaison officers are available to discuss the project and can be contacted using the details below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need offshore renewable energy?
We are facing a global climate emergency. Offshore wind energy projects are needed if we are to decarbonise our energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – protecting our environment for current and future generations.
Our communities and businesses need clean, affordable, reliable energy to thrive and grow.
Ireland has a real opportunity when it comes to offshore wind energy. Favourable wind speeds and sea conditions provide an ideal environment for generating green electricity offshore. But we must act now if we are to harness the power of nature in the fight against climate change.
How much of Ireland’s electricity needs would be met by the South Irish Sea project?
According to Census 2016, there were just over 1.7 million occupied homes in Ireland. The South Irish Sea project could generate clean electricity to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes.
What would be the expected timeframe should the location prove suitable for an offshore wind farm?
The environmental studies, engineering design, and consultation process will take a minimum of two years and, if an application is progressed, a further period to go through the planning process. If the site proves feasible, it is anticipated that a planning application will be made in 2023 with a likely decision by An Bord Pleanála in 2024. Construction would not commence until 2026 at the earliest and would take between two and four years to complete.
What environmental, economic and social benefits will South Irish Sea deliver?
- Clean electricity to supply over 500,000 homes
- Reduced emissions and a cleaner environment
- €2bn investment delivering €500m into the regional and national economy
- Offshore wind energy can be a key enabler to unlock new infrastructure investment in Ireland’s ports and maritime businesses
- Approximately 1,200 Full Time Equivalent jobs during construction
- Between 70-100 full-time local jobs during operation for 25 years
- Local operations and maintenance base
- Multi-million Euro community benefit fund for local projects for a 15 year period.
How can I talk to someone about the project?
As a leading energy supplier and a responsible owner and long-term operator of renewable energy projects, Energia understands the importance of building lasting relationships with the communities we serve.
We have appointed a Community Liaison Officer (CLO) who is available to discuss the project with all interested individuals and community organisations. Our CLO can be contacted at 087 199 0637 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fisheries Liaison Officers (FLO) are working closely with the fishing community and maritime interest stakeholders. The FLO can be contacted at 021 2031005 or email@example.com.
As part of the project development process, we will be undertaking extensive community and stakeholder engagement, including public consultation periods. This engagement will ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback and keep up to date with project progress.
What will the wind farm look like?
A detailed Seascape, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (SLVIA) will be carried out as part of the environmental assessment. This will include the production of photomontages to show what the wind farm will look like from locations along the coast. Consultation and engagement with local stakeholders will be carried out throughout this process and photomontages will be displayed as part of public consultation later this year (2021).
As part of the project development process, we will be undertaking community and stakeholder engagement, including public consultation periods. This engagement will ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback and keep up to date with project progress.
What is the community benefit scheme?
A multi-million Euro community benefit fund will operate for the 15 year duration of the project. The fund will be established for the benefit of the communities closest to the project. Guidance on how this will work will be set out in the Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). Energia will also work with local communities, the fishing community, and other stakeholders to identify suitable projects which can be supported through the funds, ensuring that local communities benefit in an optimal way.
Will the energy be exported?
All electricity generated by the South Irish Sea Project will be supplied to the Irish electricity grid.
Will the surveys impact upon fishing in the East and South East?
The proposed marine surveys are not expected to have any significant impacts for the fishing industry.
Our Fisheries Liaison Officers are working with the fishing community and maritime interest stakeholders at the pre-survey stage, well in advance of the surveys commencing, to ensure that fishing can continue during the survey works. Our FLOs can be contacted at (021) 2031005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energia is fully committed to supporting co-existence and co-operation with the fishing community throughout all stages of the South Irish Sea project.
Further information on the marine surveys and site investigations is provided here.