Oriel Wind Farm to Seek Planning Early Next Year

Oriel Wind Farm is continuing to progress its plans for an offshore wind farm in the North Irish Sea and intends to apply for planning permission for the project to An Bord Pleanála early next year.

The proposed wind farm will be located off the Co Louth coast and will have a generating capacity of up to 375 megawatts (MW), which is the equivalent of the energy used to power about 300,000 homes.

Oriel, which is being developed by Parkwind and ESB, is one of the first Irish offshore wind farms to be planned.

“We have been busy in recent months continuing to advance this key renewable energy project, which we believe will be Ireland’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm,” said Garrett Connell, Parkwind Country Manager for Ireland.

While Oriel did not secure a contract under the Offshore Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction earlier this year, the development of the project has continued apace during the past six months.

“We have made huge progress in putting some of the final touches to our planning application, which we intend to lodge early in the New Year,” Mr Connell added. “The core of the Oriel Windfarm hasn’t changed – it’s a renewable energy project that will help meet Ireland’s target of having 80% of its electricity generated by renewable sources by 2030.”

In recent years, the Oriel team has completed a large number of detailed scientific site studies and consultations, determining the final design and location of the wind farm. Oriel will include 25 offshore wind turbines, with each turbine capable of generating 15 megawatts of power.

The Oriel project will significantly reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions, while also reducing the State’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, such as coal and gas. The development and operation of the windfarm project will also deliver significant local economic and community benefits to the Northeast region.

Once operational, Oriel will save 600,000 tonnes of carbon per year which is about the same amount of carbon produced by 220,000 cars.

Oriel Windfarm held the latest in a series of public consultation events in January and February of this year to inform local stakeholders in relation to the status of project, and to seek their views in relation to the proposed development.

In advance of a planning application being submitted early next year, Oriel has also been engaging with key State agencies in recent months.

Oriel was granted a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD in December of last year. A MAC is a new type of formal consent that must be granted by the Irish government before a proposed offshore windfarm project can apply for planning permission to An Bord Pleanála.

The awarding of the MAC late last year meant that Oriel could formally engage with representatives of the Bord in recent months on the process for making a planning application.

“We will advertise the Application in the local and regional press before it is made. Following submission of the application, An Bord Pleanála will hold a public consultation where interested parties can make observations on the project directly to the Bord”, Mr Connell concludes.

The planning process is expected to take up to 12 months and if successful, construction of the Oriel wind farm could begin in 2026 and become operational by 2027.Information on the proposed project is available at www.orielwindfarm.ie. The project also has a public information office in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and if you would like to meet with the project team this can be arranged through the website or by calling (01) 963 0313.

About Parkwind

Parkwind is an integrated offshore wind business that develops, finances and operates offshore wind farms. Since July 2023, Parkwind has been operating as part of JERA Co., Inc. one of the largest power generational companies in the world. Together, Parkwind and JERA have more than a decade of experience and over 1,500 MW of offshore wind assets under operational management and construction in Belgium and Germany, the UK, Taiwan and Japan, in addition to an extensive pipeline of offshore wind projects in development around the world including in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Greece, and Australia/New Zealand.

Committed to making green energy available and affordable for everyone through its unique approach of covering the entire value chain of offshore wind, Parkwind has established itself as a reliable and competitive partner to communities, governments and suppliers globally.

For Parkwind media inquiries please contact: communication@parkwind.eu

About ESB

ESB has been Ireland's foremost energy company since it was established in 1927, driven by an unwavering commitment to power society forward and deliver a net-zero future for our customers and the communities we serve.

Launched in 2022, its ‘Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040’ strategy sets out a clear roadmap for ESB to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

As a strong, diversified utility, ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is a leading Irish utility with a regulated asset base of approximately EUR 12.0 billion (comprising ESB Networks at EUR 9.7 billion and NIE Networks at EUR 2.3 billion), a 30 % share of generation in the all-island market and supply businesses supplying electricity and gas to over two million customer accounts throughout the island of Ireland and Great Britain.

As at 31 December 2022, ESB Group employed over 8,000 people.

For ESB media inquiries please contact: paul.hand@esb.ie