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Port of Arklow Will be Future Base for SSE's Offshore Wind Farm

9th June 2020
Tug Husky at the Arklow Bank Wind-Farm off Co. Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland, the country's first such facility opened in 2004 is through SSE Renewables' to be expanded. AFLOAT also adds is the tug's fleetmate AMS Retriever which is currently at work on a dredging project at Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford (see Coastal Notes). Tug Husky at the Arklow Bank Wind-Farm off Co. Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland, the country's first such facility opened in 2004 is through SSE Renewables' to be expanded. AFLOAT also adds is the tug's fleetmate AMS Retriever which is currently at work on a dredging project at Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford (see Coastal Notes). Photo: Alpha Marine-facebook

Irish port of Arklow has beaten Wicklow to become the future operations and maintenance base for SSE Renewables' planned expansion of Ireland's first operating wind farm.

An industry source said, reports Independent.ie, that Arklow had won out chiefly because it was closer to the site than Wicklow Port, while Belfast Port was the most likely construction hub for the project, the source added.

In a joint announcement, SSE and Wicklow County Council said Arklow's south dock will be redeveloped as the base for supporting future operations of Arklow Bank. They expect 80 full-time jobs at the facility once the second phase is completed in 2025.

The existing seven-turbine farm at Arklow Bank - built in 2004 as an early test of offshore technology - currently is Ireland's only offshore wind farm and generates 25 megawatts. That is one-fortieth of one gigawatt, the goal set by the State for Ireland's offshore wind generation by 2025.

The second phase, using more powerful turbines, is designed to generate 520 megawatts using 80 to 100 turbines at the site along a swathe of the Irish Sea some 7 kilometres to 13 kilometres offshore.

However, SSE first must identify a construction hub for assembling the massive turbines. No Republic of Ireland port currently has the capacity to host these operations, which require 80-tonne cranes, reinforced quaysides and large warehouses.

An industry source said Belfast Port was most likely to be the construction hub, although a final decision will be made nearer the planned start of construction in 2023.

For further reading click the newspaper's report here.

Published in Power From the Sea
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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