Cork energy company aiming for 2026 start date for offshore windfarm

Cork energy company aiming for 2026 start date for offshore windfarm
The proposed site is approximately 54 km in width stretching from Dungarvan to Cork Harbour. Stock picture: iStock

The backers of one of Ireland’s largest planned offshore windfarms off the coast of Cork and Waterford are targeting a 2026 start.

Public consultation opened recently on the foreshore application for the Inis Ealga windfarm.

The proposed site is approximately 54 km in width stretching from Dungarvan to Cork Harbour and occupies an area of 925 km2.

The backers of the 700MW project, DP Energy Ireland (DPEI) are headquartered in Cork. The company develops, builds, and manages renewable energy projects such as wind, tidal, and solar energy, as well as provides operation and maintenance services. The current application is for a foreshore licence to examine the potential cable routes, windfarm layout and landfall areas.

If granted, it will see a multitude of separate surveys undertaken including: geotechnical, geophysical, archaeological, bird, mammal, and wind in the area

DPEI told the Irish Examiner that their aim, subject to approval for Inis Ealga was to secure a partner to develop the project and were targeting a 2026 “in-the-water” start date which they hope to achieve given the demand for renewable energy.

The site lies partly within the 12 nautical miles limit for a foreshore application and partly outside of the 12nm limit.

Depths within the Inis Ealga site range from 50m to 80m. DP Energy said three cable routes have been identified with 38 potential landfall sites between Dungarvan in Waterford and Robert’s Cove beach in Cork.

DP Energy has already developed 14 separate windfarms in Ireland, Scotland and Canada. They are also planning to develop solar energy utilities in Australia and Canada along with tidal generation plants in Antrim and in Scotland.

The public consultation period for the foreshore application closes on April 10.

Inisa Ealga is one of a number of offshore windfarms being proposed around the Irish coast.

The Irish Examiner reported in February of plans by Norwegian renewable utility Statkraft for a 40-turbine windfarm, located in the Irish Sea.

North Irish Sea Array Windfarm Ltd (NISA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Statkraft, applied for a foreshore licence to carry out a marine survey of a 229 square-kilometre site located between 7km and 17km off the coasts of Dublin, Louth, and Meath.

If developed, the windfarm has the potential to provide 500MW of power.

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