The Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English, T.D, and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, T.D. today (19th May) announced the seven offshore renewable energy projects that have been designated as Relevant Projects. These are offshore wind projects that either applied for or were granted a lease under the Foreshore Act 1933, or offshore wind projects that are eligible to be processed to receive a valid grid connection offer. The Climate Action Plan commits to increasing our offshore wind capacity to 3.5GW as part of our overall ambition to reach 70% renewable energy by 2030.
The announcement of the transition of these projects means that they can continue to work and update a number of aspects of their projects so that they will be in a position to apply under the new marine planning regime, once enacted, which will be introduced by the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill, 2020.
Minister English commented: “I am pleased to announce a way forward for these offshore renewable energy projects which will now be determined under the planning regime to be introduced in the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill, 2020. Under this new marine planning regime, these projects will apply for final development consent to An Board Pleanála which will provide further opportunities for public consultation on the individual projects.”
Minister Bruton added: “This now sets out a clear development path for these offshore wind projects which will play a key role in decarbonising our electricity system. This is a clear example of the Government’s determination to deliver on our climate and renewable energy ambitions to deliver 70% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”
The projects that have been approved are:
- Oriel Wind Park
- Innogy Renewables (2 projects Bray and Kish Banks)
- Codling Wind Park (2 projects, Codling I and Codling II)
- Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (Skerd Rocks),
- North Irish Sea Array Ltd (North Irish Sea Array)
Dr Carolyn Heeps, Project Director, Codling Wind Park said “We very much welcome today’s announcement from the Irish Government on the Relevant Projects under the Transition Protocol. It is an important step towards facilitating offshore wind as a key contributor to Ireland achieving its climate action plan targets. Now, as a Relevant Project, the project is preparing an updated consent application in line with the new offshore planning regime to be put in place through the Maritime Planning and Development Management Bill (MPDM). This includes further detailed environmental, technical and engineering design work to determine the indicative capacity across both Codling projects areas in order to deliver the project in support of Ireland’s climate action plan targets.”
The Codling project is a 50:50 joint venture owned by EDF Renewables and Fred.Olsen Renewables and it will be located south of Dublin, 13 km off the coast of County Wicklow. Initial development work started in 2003.