Scottish utility SSE is set to submit a planning consent application for the 800MW Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea to Ireland’s planning authority, An Bord Pleanala.

This step is crucial for developing the offshore wind farm, which will bolster the country’s renewable energy capacity and reduce carbon emissions.

The application to be submitted by Sure Partners, a subsidiary of SSE, encompasses the maritime area planning for the offshore infrastructure.

The latest development phase builds on the original vision for offshore wind generation at Arklow Bank, which dates from 2003 when a 25MW offshore project was first commissioned at the site.

Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 will contribute to Ireland’s energy sustainability, displacing more than 800,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually and powering 850,000 homes.

The submission of the offshore planning consent application represents seven years of development by SSE Renewables.

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To be located offshore Wicklow and North Wexford, this project will be one of Ireland’s most advanced.

It has already received planning consent for an operations and maintenance base and onshore infrastructure, making this the final consent needed before construction.

Construction of the wind farm could begin by 2026, with energy production by 2029.

The project aligns with Ireland’s goal of achieving at least 5GW of offshore renewable energy by 2030.

The proposal includes 56 turbines on a 63km² area, with additional offshore substations and cabling to connect to the national grid.

The planning application follows extensive public consultation in Wicklow and Wexford, with community feedback shaping the final proposal.

Alongside the application, SSE Renewables has submitted an environmental impact assessment report and a Natura Impact Statement to An Bord Pleanala.

SSE Renewables Arklow Bank project director James O’Hara stated: “Our team of over 50 renewable energy professionals supported by a dedicated local supply chain has been working hard to deliver SSE’s flagship Irish offshore wind farm – Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 – for almost seven years now.

“In doing so, we’re fulfilling the pioneering vision of delivering commercial-scale offshore wind at Arklow Bank which dates back almost 20 years to when the first seven turbines were installed at the site and became Ireland’s first and only operational offshore wind farm.

“Now, we’re pleased to announce we’re submitting what we believe is a robust and compelling planning application to deliver a world-class renewable energy asset at Arklow Bank using the very latest offshore technology that can generate the additional green energy Ireland needs to meet 2030 renewable energy targets in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner.”