The Codling Wind Park project is currently in the early development stages and throughout 2021 a range of offshore and onshore environmental and technical studies and site investigations will be undertaken. The project team’s aim is to submit onshore and offshore planning applications to An Bord Pleanála during 2022, and to submit a single EIA report in support of these applications. Consultation and engagement will form an important part of both of these processes, and we will be holding three phases of public consultation – of which this is the first – over the next 12 to 15 months.
The consenting process
In order to proceed, there are various consents that the Codling project must secure. The final consenting regime is not yet confirmed in detail, but the main permissions required are expected to be:
- Foreshore investigation licence (under the Foreshore Act 1933) – granted in February 2021
- Maritime Area Consent (under the Marine Planning and Development Management Act)
- Onshore and offshore planning permission/consent(s)
In May 2020, Codling was confirmed as having Relevant Project status – now referred to as Phase 1 status – under the Transitional Protocol published as part of the proposed Marine Planning and Development Management Act (MPDM).
Once the bill is enacted (which is expected by mid-2021), Codling’s Phase 1 Project status will allow it to apply for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC).
This MAC is expected to be conditional on a successful planning application being secured by the project from An Bord Pleanála (ABP), and is therefore called a Conditional MAC.
The consent applications and Conditional MAC will allow Codling Wind Park to participate in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) – a competitive auction process.
An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) will be produced to inform a planning application for the project. If successful, Codling will be awarded planning development consent under the MPDM, leading to the completion of one of the conditions of the Maritime Area Consent (MAC).
There are three phases of public consultation planned. The first, including a live webinar and an online public exhibition, has now closed. The second is planned for later in 2021 and the last early in 2022.
If you wish to see a recording of the webinar or to see the exhibition resources, click on the links below.
Connection and route to market
A connection to the Irish Electricity Transmission System will be required to allow the project to supply its renewable electricity to Irish electricity consumers and this is being progressed with EirGrid to determine the most appropriate location for a connection point(s).
The project will also take part in an Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction to secure a RESS contract to provide a fixed price and fixed duration contract for the electricity produced by the wind farm. This will be a competitive auction process where RESS contracts will be awarded to the offshore wind projects that can offer the lowest electricity prices.
Subject to all necessary permits and consents being received, Codling could begin construction in 2024/25. Construction is expected to take two to three years to complete.