Fears of ‘turbines taller than Bray Head’ offshore as two wind farms get go-ahead

The Dublin Array Offshore Windfarm project could see up to 50 wind turbines located offshore between Blackrock, South Dublin and Bray, County Wicklow by 2028.

Tom GalvinBray People

Greystones Fine Gael Councillor Derek Mitchell has raised concerns over “a wall of turbines taller than Bray Head” towering over the coastline between Bray and Greystones, after it was announced that both Codling Wind Park and the Dublin Array Offshore Wind Farm have been given the green light for development off the east coast of Ireland.

While Cllr Mitchell welcomed the advent of more sustainable power, he said: “I am concerned that the two wind farms are planned to meet off Greystones giving a wall of turbines, taller than Bray Head, covering most of the sea horizon 10 to 12 kilometres offshore.

“This is far more than any other place, 115 degrees arc of view. I want to see a gap of at least 30 degrees arc of view left between wind farms so each appears separate, reducing the visual impact.

“For the last three years I have asked for this but their consultations have ignored this and all planning has ignored adjacent wind farms.

“This scale of visual disruption would not be allowed elsewhere in Europe,” he added.

“Ideally, they would be much further offshore but to do so would put this back five years when the sustainable power is needed. Thus I ask that this gap be left.

“Recently, a wind farm extension off Brighton, UK, had to reduce its size because of excessive visual impact, even though the impact is less than is planned off Greystones.

“I have also asked them to open an Interpretive Centre with explanation boards in Kilcoole and Newcastle. They have not agreed to any of this,” he said.

The Codling Wind Park is to be set in an area called Codling Bank, approximately 13-22 kilometres off the County Wicklow coast, between Greystones and Wicklow town.

With an expected capacity of up to 1,300 megawatts (MW), it has the potential to supply the equivalent of over one million Irish homes with low carbon, locally produced, low-cost electricity, and to save almost two million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

EirGrid has provisionally confirmed that Codling Wind Park’s bid under the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS) has been successful, ahead of final auction results to be issued in mid-June. Subject to all necessary permits and consents being received, Codling Wind Park could begin construction in 2026.

Meanwhile, RWE’s Dublin Array Offshore Wind Farm was also given the green light for its offshore wind farm on the Kish and Bray Banks, which will be located approximately 10 kilometres from the coastline of counties Dublin and Wicklow. Once operational, Dublin Array would have an installed capacity of 824 MW, and consist of up to a maximum of 50 turbines, depending on the model of turbine chosen at the time.

Following the provisional announcement, there will now be a period of scrutiny, before EirGrid can formally confirm the auction results. If Dublin Array’s success is formally confirmed on June 14, RWE’s next steps will be to submit an application for consent, while also completing the final stages of detailed design and procurement.

A Financial Investment Decision would follow later, after consent is secured, with a target date operating date of 2028. It is hoped the wind farms will help the Government meet its 2030 offshore wind targets and put the country on the pathway to net zero by 2050.