Environmental studies

The Codling Wind Park project partners, EDF Renewables and Fred. Olsen Renewables, have a strong track record of appropriate and environmentally responsible development. 

Environmental surveys and studies first began on the project in 2002 and have continued at specific times since then. More recently the focus has been on building up a good understanding of the baseline environment in relation to the receptors that will be considered in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). These receptors include birds, marine mammals, fish populations and marine archaeology. Onshore ecological surveys are due to commence in spring 2021. 

The Environmental Impact Assessment process

A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is undertaken to assess the impacts of the project on a range of ecological and anthropogenic receptors. The results from these assessments are reported in an EIA Report, which forms the main supportive information submitted with consent applications., 

The assessment methodologies used are informed by consultations and a range of guidance documents and best practice principles from recognised Irish and international sources, including An Bord Pleanála, the Environmental Protection Agency, relevant Government departments and the European Commission. 

Details of the proposed environmental approach offshore and the works we will undertake as part of the assessment process are contained in our Offshore Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Report, which is available  on this website,  A consultation process on this scoping report took place between December 2020 and January 2021 with all relevant statutory consultees, plus a wide range of other stakeholders.

Offshore studies 

In early February 2021, Codling was granted a foreshore site investigation licence by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, allowing further environmental and technical surveys and investigations in support of the EIA to commence.

The surveys will take place across the project site, plus corridors for export cable routes to shore and several potential grid connection corridors close to Poolbeg, Shanganagh, Wicklow Town and Greystones.

Copyright: British Crown and Oceanwise

These survey campaigns and studies are necessary to:

  • Determine the feasibility of the site and cable routes
  • Inform the technical and electrical design and layout of the project, including methodologies for laying and burying cables, substation and landfall site selection
  • Better understand the ground conditions to inform foundation design and choice
  • Collect information on waves and tides across the site through the deployment of wave buoys and current measurement instrumentation.
  • Identify and manage risks and any technical, environmental, and socio-economic constraints across the site
  • Collect environmental data that will be assessed and submitted in the EIAR as part of the application for consent.

There are several types of marine surveys proposed as part of the site investigation works. 

Geophysical surveys: the purpose of which is to describe the physical features of the seabed which includes measuring water depth, definition of seabed structures (e.g., sand waves), identifying sediment type and distribution (sand, mud, gravel, rock) both on and below the seabed.  

Geotechnical surveys: whereby samples of the seabed are collected and returned to the vessel. These include grab/core sampling, boreholes and cone penetration testing (CPT).

Metocean surveys will also be carried out to gain an understanding of the meteorological and oceanographic conditions that exist on Codling Bank. 

Ecology and Ornithology undertaken to consider the biological environment and will include:                                                      

  • Fish and Seabed Habitat
  • Marine Mammals
  • Birds

The full suite of surveys required will be phased and Notices to Mariners will be issued as soon as possible in advance of the surveys commencing. 

 

Onshore studies

The onshore elements for which environmental assessments will be undertaken will include landfall site(s) and associated transition joints to connect the offshore and onshore cables, onshore underground cables, temporary construction areas, onshore project substation(s), and cables connecting the onshore project substation to an existing transmission grid  substation(s). 

Additional studies and surveys are required to further define the onshore aspects of the project, and a scoping report detailing these elements is currently being developed. Consultation on this will be undertaken with the relevant bodies once this has been completed and it will be made available on this website. 

The surveys which will be undertaken include the following areas:

  • Ecology 
  • Archaeology and cultural heritage 
  • Hydrology and hydrogeology 
  • Geology and soils 
  • Landscape and visual 
  • Traffic and transport 
  • Noise and vibration 
  • Amenity and community aspects

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