Seabed surveys off the coast of Waterford have been successfully completed.
Irish energy provider Energia Renewables has reached a key milestone in the development of the North Celtic Sea offshore renewable energy project.
The company revealed that seabed surveys off the coast of Waterford have been successfully completed.
“We’re at an exciting stage of the North Celtic Sea project off the coast of Waterford”
Energia Renewables’ North Celtic Sea project is one of the most advanced offshore energy projects in the south-east and anywhere in Ireland. Subject to progressing through statutory approvals, construction could commence in 2026 in time to meet Ireland’s 2030 climate action targets. The project will generate clean electricity for over 500,000 Irish homes and businesses.
North Celtic Sea Project
Following the award of a Foreshore Licence in September 2021, the geophysical and geotechnical surveys started in April 2022 and were completed in October. The surveys measured important information on seabed conditions including water depth, sediment type and habitat distribution.
The information from the surveys will inform the continued project design including the number, size and optimum placement of the wind turbines.
“We’re at an exciting stage of the North Celtic Sea project off the coast of Waterford,” said Energia Offshore Renewables manager Eoin McPartland.
“The completion of our seabed surveys is an important milestone as we continue our steady progress to realise the potential of this development for offshore renewable energy in Ireland.
“In an increasingly competitive global market for surveys of this type, with waiting times of up to two years for vessels to survey during available weather windows, it’s very significant that these surveys are now complete so that we can contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s 2030 ambitions. We will now progress to more detailed design and consultation ahead of the establishment of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) and will then proceed with a formal planning application in due course.”
In addition to the North Celtic Sea project, Energia Renewables is also progressing the South Irish Sea offshore project off the coasts of Wexford and Wicklow. The seabed surveys for this project are nearing completion.
In the context of the ongoing climate emergency, Energia Renewables is committed to playing a leading role in addressing this challenge where offshore wind provides a significant opportunity for Ireland.
Given that the development timeline for these projects is up to 10 years, it is necessary that the small number of early-stage projects, like North Celtic Sea and South Irish Sea, that have made significant progress to date, continue to achieve key development milestones enabling them to play a part in Ireland’s 2030 energy system.
“We’re very grateful to the fishing community for their engagement and discussions with us, which helped us to successfully complete these surveys, and to everyone who has taken part in our consultation processes and our public information clinics to date. We will continue to consult with fishing and local communities and will provide regular updates on our North Celtic Sea project on an ongoing basis.
“We are currently progressing further studies to identify potential grid connection options and suitable locations for construction and operations facilities. This includes ecological surveys to determine the ecology of the seabed and surrounding waters.”
Main image at top: Energia Offshore Renewables manager Eoin McPartland