Seven offshore renewable energy projects have been designated as ‘Relevant Projects’ by the Ministers for Urban Development and Climate Action and approved for transition to the upcoming new marine planing regime.
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 seven projects that have been approved include two by Innogy Renewables, at Bray and Kish Banks; two comprising the Codling Wind Park off Co Wicklow; Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta’s Skerd Rocks scheme off Connemara; and the North Irish Sea Array and Oriel Wind Farm, both off Co Louth.
The approval aims to further the objectives of the Climate Action Plan, which commits to increasing our offshore wind capacity to 3.5GW as part of our overall ambition to reach 70% renewable energy by 2030.
Urban Development Minister Damien English said: “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.”
Climate Action Minister Richard 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 announcement means that these projects can continue to work and update a number of aspects to put them 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.