The public will have an opportunity to find out more about EirGrid’s plans to deliver offshore renewable energy infrastructure off the south coast of Wexford at an information event in Fethard on 12 June.
As part of Ireland’s ambition to achieve our climate target of producing 80% of electricity from clean renewable sources by 2030 as outlined in the Climate Action Plan, EirGrid has been tasked by Government, in their recent policy statement on the Framework for Phase Two Offshore Wind, to deliver a plan-led approach for connecting offshore wind to the electricity grid.
This will involve the delivery of grid transmission infrastructure to connect offshore renewable energy resources to points on the south coast in preparation for the second phase of the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS2), including offshore substations and underwater cables connecting these resources to the onshore grid.
EirGrid will seek to place coastal and marine stakeholders in Wexford at the heart of all engagement for its offshore grid infrastructure delivery programme, Shaping Our Offshore Energy Future.
The programme will involve the construction of two offshore electricity substations – one in an area off the coast of east Cork, and one in an area off the Waterford/south Wexford coast – each of which will connect to new substations to be built onshore.
The substations will connect electricity generated by future windfarms to shore using underwater cables.
As part of the programme EirGrid will deliver the infrastructure connecting offshore windfarms to the national grid. The windfarms will be delivered by private developers following a competitive auction process, and subject to all necessary planning and consents.
Construction work on EirGrid’s offshore connection infrastructure is expected to begin later this decade, to be completed in 2030. This will follow a wide range of studies, extensive public consultation and robust consenting processes.
Members of the public will be able to find out more details about the Shaping Our Offshore Energy Future programme and meet the programme team at a public information event at St Mary’s Community Hall in Fethard between 12pm and 8pm on Monday 12 June.
This information session is in advance of a full public consultation process involving more detailed plans for the programme, which will take place in the autumn. The general public, communities and businesses in Wexford will be able to submit their views on the plans through this consultation.
When delivered, the infrastructure will have the capacity to bring 900 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity onto the national grid – enough to power nearly a million homes.
This will be in addition to over 4 gigawatts (4,000 megawatts) of electricity coming from wind power developments planned off the country’s east and west coasts.
In total, this will lead to the generation of over 5 gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind power by the end of this decade, forming a crucial element in the State’s climate commitment of producing up to 80% of energy from renewable sources by 2030.
This new domestic source of renewable electricity will also help to safeguard Ireland’s energy security and ensure greater energy independence for the country, reducing risks around price and supply.
EirGrid’s Head of Public Engagement Sinéad Dooley said: “We want people in Wexford to have every opportunity to hear all about the infrastructure works that will take place off the south coast as part of the Shaping Our Offshore Energy Future programme, and about EirGrid’s role in connecting clean renewable energy to the national grid.
“While there will be further opportunities to engage on this programme in the autumn, we would encourage people to attend our Public Information Event in Wexford in June so they can meet the programme team and ask any questions they may have at this early stage.”
For more information on Shaping Our Offshore Energy Future visit EirGrid.ie/offshore