The Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 offshore wind project has reached yet another key milestone as planning permission has been granted for the development of a state-of-the-art Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) in Arklow Harbour.
Approval was secured by SSE Renewables (today) from Wicklow County Council in relation to the operations base proposed for South Dock. The decision will help contribute to a significant regeneration of the Arklow townsite known as The Old Shipyard.
Once operational, the facility will serve as the onshore support base used to control, operate and maintain the offshore wind farm during its operational lifetime.
It will accommodate around 80 long-term direct, local jobs during the operation of the offshore wind farm which will include site managers, supervisors, technicians, vessel crew, control room operators and engineers. Hundreds more jobs will be created and sustained during the construction phase of the operations base and the wider wind farm project.
The four-storey Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) will also feature a Sustainable Education Centre on its top floor which will complement Arklow’s Decarbonisation Zone status. The Sustainable Education Centre will act as a link between the offshore wind farm and the local community and will have the capacity to accommodate exhibitions, guided tours and sustainability-themed events.
Within the South Dock, designated quayside and berth facilities will be constructed to accommodate four crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and a pontoon system will be installed to provide for safe boarding, loading and unloading of CTVs.
SSE Renewables is the first offshore wind energy developer to secure planning permission in Ireland to develop an operations and maintenance facility for an associated wind farm project.
Kaj Christiansen, Development Manager, SSE Renewables said:“We are extremely pleased to have planning permission granted for the Operations and Maintenance Facility which will support Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2’s offshore infrastructure. This means that another critical piece of the puzzle is now in place as we work to deliver this project by 2028. SSE Renewables is committed to building a state of the art facility in South Dock which will provide 80 local jobs for the town of Arklow and lead the way in the regeneration of Arklow Harbour and unlocking its long term potential.”
The decision comes on the back of significant progress for the Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 project.
SSE Renewables was recently granted planning permission to develop the onshore grid infrastructure necessary to connect the 800MW project to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid, a historic first for Ireland’s offshore wind sector.
The company also submitted a Maritime Area Consent Application (MAC) to the Department of Environment, Communications and Climate in recent weeks.
All of these consents are critical to the development of the project and enabling its contribution to Ireland’s offshore wind target of 5GW by 2030.