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Turley supports SSE in submitting an offshore planning consent application for Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 in the Irish Sea

Turley is providing expert Planning services to SSE for the offshore planning consent application for the offshore infrastructure required for the proposed Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 project in the Irish Sea, which was recently submitted to An Bord Pleanála.

This is the latest and most significant milestone in the delivery of SSE’s flagship Irish offshore wind farm project, which is being developed off the coasts of Wicklow and North Wexford. The Maritime Area Planning Application was submitted recently by Sure Partners Ltd. (SPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of FTSE 100 listed company SSE Plc under SSE Renewables.

If consented and brought forward for construction, the up to 800MW Arklow Bank 2 project would play a crucial role in driving progress towards a cleaner and more secure homegrown energy system for Ireland. Once operational, the offshore wind farm would be capable of producing enough renewable energy to displace over 800,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions annually while powering the equivalent of around 850,000 homes each year[1].

Submission of an offshore planning consent application for the Arklow Bank 2 project is the culmination of almost seven years' development work by leading renewable energy developer, owner, and operator, SSE Renewables. This recent phase of development builds on the original vision for offshore wind generation at Arklow Bank, which dates to 2003 when the original 25MW offshore project was first commissioned at the site.

Today, Arklow Bank 2 is one of the most advanced offshore wind projects in Ireland, having already secured planning consent for the development of a state-of-the-art operations and maintenance base at Arklow Harbour, out of which around 80 full-time employees would be based, as well as consent for the development of onshore cabling and a substation that would connect the project to Ireland’s national grid. This latest application marks the third and final planning consent required to move to the construction stage of the project.

Subject to planning consent and a final investment decision by SSE, construction of Arklow Bank 2 could commence as early as 2026 with first energy generated by 2029, contributing to Ireland’s target of at least 5GW of offshore renewable energy by 2030. Additionally, Arklow Bank 2 is expected to deliver an overall national economic benefit of up to €800m – around €400m of which will be local to the Wicklow and Wexford region – while supporting around 2,300 direct and indirect jobs throughout its delivery and operational lifetime[2].

James O’Hara, Arklow Bank Project Director at SSE Renewables, said:

“Our team of over 50 renewable energy professionals supported by a dedicated local supply chain has been working hard to deliver SSE’s flagship Irish offshore wind farm – Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 – for almost seven years now. In doing so, we’re fulfilling the pioneering vision of delivering commercial scale offshore wind at Arklow Bank which dates back almost 20 years to when the first seven turbines were installed at the site and became Ireland’s first and only operational offshore wind farm. 

“Now, we’re pleased to announce we’re submitting what we believe is a robust and compelling planning application to deliver a world class renewable energy asset at Arklow Bank using the very latest offshore technology that can generate the additional green energy Ireland needs to meet 2030 renewable energy targets in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner. Arklow Bank is a unique and well-advanced project that enjoys widespread public and stakeholder support, especially among communities in south Wicklow and north Wexford. By delivering on the Arklow Bank vision we can make a significant contribution to climate action while bringing enormous national and regional socio-economic benefits such as up to €800m economic investment, hundreds of jobs and a multi-million Euro Community Benefit Fund.”

The planning application proposes the construction of up to 56 offshore wind turbines, depending on final wind farm project design, located in an array area of around 63 sq km on and around the Arklow Bank off the Wicklow and Wexford coast. Each turbine would be installed on steel monopile foundations. The offshore application also proposes two Offshore Substation Platforms as well as associated export, inter-array and interconnector sub-sea cabling that would connect the offshore wind farm to Ireland’s national grid at a cabling landfall point at Johnstown North, north of Arklow Town.

Associate Director, Planning, Paul McMonagle said: 

“We are very proud to be working with SSE’s project team on this world-class project which will provide significant benefits and support a cleaner energy system for Ireland. We look forward to continuing to provide planning services as the project progresses.”

The planning application submission follows an extensive period of public consultation with local Wicklow and Wexford communities and stakeholders which took place last year. The feedback received during that process has helped refine the application now being submitted.

Details of the application can be viewed at:

1 July 2024

[1] 834,286 homes powered based on projected installed capacity, typical projected wind load factor of 50%, and typical annual consumption (4,200kWh). Quoted 819,936 metric tonnes of carbon emissions displaced based on projected annual MWh output and latest average CO2 Emissions (0.234g/kWh) in the All-Island Single Electricity Market and published by the CRU in its Fuel Mix Disclosure and CO2 Emissions for 2022, November 2023.
[2] Based on socio-economic research compiled by BiGGAR Economics and included within the Environmental Impact Assessment Report submitted to An Bord Pleanála as part of the project consent application. See for more.

Image courtesy of SSE

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