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Preliminary surveys to determine the feasibility of locating an offshore wind farm off the Co. Wexford & South Wicklow coastline

Energy group, Energia have applied to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) for an investigative foreshore licence for the South Irish Sea, to undertake early stage site investigation surveys to assess the potential suitability of the area for an offshore wind farm.

Full details of the applcations can be viewed here.

It is envisaged that any survey activity, which will provide environmental and technical information relating to the area, would take place over a 24 month period, say Energia. The information gathered would be one of several inputs that would inform any future decision to proceed with a potential planning application. The foreshore licence application to DHPLG is subject to public consultation.

Energia has appoint Fishery Liaisons Ltd. to the role Fisheries Liaison Officer (FLO) for the project to engage with fishery organisations and groups in relation to any survey activities. The company says consultation with local fishing representatives and port authorities will be carried out before any survey activity takes place.

Commenting on the foreshore licence application, Peter Baillie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables said:

“Energia is one of Ireland’s leading and most experienced renewable energy providers. We are committed to the communities we serve and to play our part in contributing to positive climate action. Offshore wind energy is a vitally important component of the Government of Ireland’s 2019 Climate Action Plan with a target of at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy generation by 2030.

“This foreshore licence application is to undertake surveys and assess the feasibility for future development. It is in line with both the Government’s and our plans to create sustainability of energy supply from green and renewable sources, and to reduce the impact of climate change on our environment.”

In 2019, Energia announced its commitment to invest over €3 Billion in Irish renewable energy generation and related systems over the next 5 years via its ‘Positive Energy’ programme. This proposed survey in the South Irish Sea and any potential future activity would form part of this commitment.

Energia also recently applied to the DHPLG for an investigative foreshore licence to undertake similar site investigation surveys in the North Celtic Sea off the coast of Waterford, and are currently awaiting a decision on this application.