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Displaying items by tag: maritime area consent

The Codling Wind Park has submitted its application for a maritime area consent (MAC) as part of the Government’s streamlined procedure for marine planning.

The renewable energy project on the Codling Bank in the Irish Sea is about 13 km off the east coast, close to Wicklow.

Describing it as a “significant project milestone”, the project has also announced changes to its management team.

The project says that its partners – EDF Renewables and Fred. Olsen Seawind – are “becoming more directly involved in the day-to-day running of what is a strategically important project for both companies”.

Thomas GellertThomas Gellert Photo: Codling Wind Park

Thomas Gellert, currently senior vice-president for project execution at Fred. Olsen Seawind, and Scott Sutherland, head of offshore wind at EDF Renewables, have been appointed as co-project directors.

They bring a combined experience of almost 30 years in the “execution and delivery of industry-leading offshore wind projects”, the project says.

“They will take up their joint leadership role straight away, with former project director Arno Verbeek continuing as a senior advisor to the partners,” it says.

Codling Wind Park says that if its MAC application is successful, it will allow the project to compete in the first Offshore Renewable Electricity Scheme (ORESS) auction, which is due to open later this year, and to submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanála.

Information clinics on the Codling Wind Park will continue throughout the summer, in Greystones, Kilcoole and Wicklow town, with a further pop-up clinic available to groups on request, it says.

A full schedule of clinics, including details for booking a slot, are available on the Codling Wind Park website: Information Clinics - Codling Wind Park.

Published in Marine Planning

The State’s new maritime area consent regime has been formally kick-started by Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan.

The new regime allows the minister on an interim basis to issue maritime area consents (MACs) to renewable energy developers who meet “relevant assessment criteria”, his department says.

Developers must have a MAC to apply for permission to An Bord Pleanála.

Ryan’s department says the minister will “assess MAC applicants in key areas, including financial and technical competency”.

“This assessment of potential offshore developers will ensure that only the most viable offshore projects will have the opportunity to apply for permission from An Bord Pleanála, thus streamlining the process. The first MACs are expected to be issued in the second half of 2022,” it says.

Marking the opening of the MAC application process, Ryan said that “never has it been more vital that we use our vast offshore wind resource to create renewable energy and ensure the security of our own energy supply”.

“Today marks a tangible milestone in our journey towards 80% renewable electricity by 2030, as set out in the Climate Action Plan,” Ryan said, adding that “the door is now open for a number of developers to progress their offshore wind energy projects”.

The interim powers given to the minister last until the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) is established, and this has been promised in the first quarter of 2023 – although it had been promised by end of last year.

The interim legislation allows the Minister for the Environment and Climate to assess applications from a set of seven “qualified” offshore renewable energy (ORE) projects, known as “relevant projects”.

The seven projects are :

  • Oriel Wind Park;
  • RWE (previously Innogy Renewables), (two 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).

Following an initial batch of MACs, responsibility will be handed to MARA from early 2023, the department says.

Meanwhile, delays in establishing a stakeholder liaison forum have resulted in fishing industry representatives warning that commercial fishing and offshore wind may be on a “collision course”.

Published in Power From the Sea

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!