Permission has now been granted for SSE Renewables to develop a new operations and maintenance facility in Arklow Harbour as part of their major offshore wind project in the area.
The base for the Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 project will be built at Arklow’s South Dock. Once operational, the facility will serve as the onshore support base used to control, operate and maintain the offshore wind farm during its operational lifetime.
It will accommodate n estimated 80 long-term jobs during the operation of the offshore wind farm, which will include site managers, supervisors, technicians, vessel crew, control room operators and engineers. SSE Renewables say that hundreds more jobs will be created during the construction phase of the operations base and the wider wind farm project.
Kaj Christiansen, Development Manager, SSE Renewables, said: “We are extremely pleased to have planning permission granted for the Operations and Maintenance Facility, which will support Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2’s offshore infrastructure.
"This means that another critical piece of the puzzle is now in place as we work to deliver this project by 2028. SSE Renewables is committed to building a state of the art facility in South Dock, which will provide 80 local jobs for the town of Arklow and lead the way in the regeneration of Arklow Harbour and unlocking its long term potential.”
The four-storey building will also feature a Sustainable Education Centre on its top floor, which will complement Arklow’s Decarbonisation Zone status. The Sustainable Education Centre will act as a link between the offshore wind farm and the local community and will have the capacity to accommodate exhibitions, guided tours and sustainability-themed events.
Within the South Dock, designated quayside and berth facilities will be constructed to accommodate four crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and a pontoon system will be installed to provide for safe boarding, loading and unloading of CTVs.
SSE Renewables is the first offshore wind energy developer to secure planning permission in Ireland to develop an operations and maintenance facility for an associated wind farm project.
SSE Renewables was recently granted planning permission to develop the onshore grid infrastructure necessary to connect the 800MW project to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid, a historic first for Ireland’s offshore wind sector.
The company also submitted a Maritime Area Consent Application (MAC) to the Department of Environment, Communications and Climate in recent weeks.