May 20 (Renewables Now) - The Irish government has selected seven offshore wind projects that will undergo a streamlined planning and permitting process to help the country meet its 3.5-GW installation goal by 2030.
The specific schemes were designated as “relevant projects,” thus enabling them to continue their development and reach a point at which they will be allowed to apply for consent under new marine planning rules due to be introduced later this year.
"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," said the Minister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English.
According to the government’s statement on Tuesday, Parkwind and ESB’s 330-MW Oriel wind project in the North Irish Sea off the coast of Dundalk and the 600-MW Bray and Kish Banks projects led by Innogy Renewables are among the selected schemes. The 1-GW Codling I and Codling II projects owned by Norway-based Fred Olsen Renewables and France’s EDF (EPA:EDF), Skerd Rocks’ 100-MW Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta off Ireland’s west coast and the up-to-530-MW North Irish Sea Array now owned by Norwegian utility Statkraft AS have also been picked. The last scheme, initially planned to have a maximum capacity of 750 MW, became part of Statkraft’s assets after the state-owned company acquired developer Element Power’s Irish pipeline.
Under its Climate Action Plan, Ireland aims to lift its offshore wind capacity to 3.5 GW and have renewables account for 70% of its overall energy by 2030.