Energia is inviting members of the public to take part in a first phase of public consultation on a proposed renewable energy project in the South Irish Sea.
The project is proposed to be located at a minimum of 10km and up to 25km off the coasts of Co. Wexford and south Co. Wicklow in the South Irish Sea.
The South Irish Sea project aims to decarbonise Ireland’s energy supply, reduce emissions and help to achieve our 2030 climate action and offshore wind energy targets. The project will generate clean electricity for over 500,000 Irish homes and businesses.
As a leading Irish energy provider and long-term infrastructure investor Energia currently supplies approximately 20% of all electricity on the island of Ireland to over 823,000 homes and businesses. Energia is responsible for providing electricity from approximately 25% of all wind power on the island.
In the context of the ongoing climate emergency, Energia is committed to playing a leading role in addressing this challenge where offshore wind provides a significant opportunity for Ireland. Given that the development timeline for these projects is up to 10 years, it is necessary that the small number of early-stage projects, like South Irish Sea, that have made significant progress to date, continue to achieve key development milestones enabling them to play a part in Ireland’s 2030 energy system.
This early public consultation for the South Irish Sea project takes place from 19th October – 26th November 2021 and is the first in a series of opportunities for the public to meet the project team and learn about the South Irish Sea project.
An online exhibition room is open which includes survey area maps, indicative photo illustrations, a project timeline, and other information on the project and our engagement with local and fishing communities.
Energia’s project team is holding a public webinar on Tuesday 9th November 2021 from 7pm-8pm and all are invited to attend to learn more about the project and ask questions. Click here to register. A recording of the webinar will also be made available online after the event.
Information clinics will be held from 15th to 19th November 2021 for anyone wishing to discuss specific aspects with the project team. Bookings can be made here.
Launching the consultation, Eoin McPartland, Offshore Renewables Manager with Energia said, “Climate action is essential to protect our environment now and for the generations to come. Energia’s South Irish Sea project will produce 100% green electricity that will contribute to decarbonising Ireland’s energy supply, reducing emissions and powering homes and businesses into the future while meeting Ireland’s 2030 renewable energy targets.
“As a leading Irish energy company, Energia has a strong track record of working closely with communities to understand their viewpoints and concerns and this is then included in the progression of all our projects.
“We know that coastal communities are considering the potential of offshore windfarm developments for the first time and we want to provide as much information as possible, which is why we have begun consultation at this early stage in the project. This first round of consultation is very much an introduction to the South Irish Sea project and we encourage people to take part.
“Coastal communities in other countries have benefited positively from developments in the green economy and we want to ensure that this will be the case for communities along the eastern and south-eastern seaboards in parallel with this development.
“We’re looking forward to engaging with people around this important initiative and we welcome all feedback which can help shape the development of the South Irish Sea windfarm project.”
The project team is currently undertaking offshore and onshore studies to help determine site suitability and to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and design process. Further periods of consultation will take place over the coming 18 months to share progress on the project.
As one of Ireland’s leading and most experienced renewable energy providers, Energia has recently been granted a foreshore licence by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to carry out surveys for this project. The licence is a key milestone for the project and will enable it to progress alongside a small number of other projects that are capable of contributing to the achievement of Ireland’s 2030 climate action target.
It is anticipated that a planning application for the South Irish Sea project could be made in 2023 with a planning decision in 2024.
If you have any questions on the project, please feel free to contact our community or fisheries liaison officers using the details below.