UK-based energy company SSE Renewables has secured planning permission from Irish planning board An Bord Pleanála for developing onshore grid infrastructure.

The grid infrastructure will link Ireland’s electricity transmission grid to the 800MW Phase II of Arklow Bank Wind Park.

With this approval, SSE Renewables has become the first company to obtain onshore grid consent for an Irish offshore project.

The company secured the planning consent through its subsidiary, Sure Partners, for the development of a 220kV substation at Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, County Wicklow.

The permit also includes an associated connection from the new substation to the existing national transmission network.

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SSE secured the permit ahead of its upcoming application to the Irish Government for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC), which will allow the company to apply for planning permission for the project’s offshore infrastructure.

The company is currently developing the second phase of the Arklow Bank Wind Park, which is located 13km from the County Wicklow coastline east of Arklow.

This phase of the wind project builds on the seven existing turbines owned by GE, which constitute the wind park’s operational first phase.

SSE said that it aims to install up to 800MW of installed offshore wind energy capacity under the Irish Government’s new Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act process.

SSE Renewables Arklow Bank development manager Kaj Christiansen said: “We’re delighted to have received this decision from An Bord Pleanála and to have achieved this critical milestone in the development of the Arklow Bank Wind Park, Phase II.

“This consent is the culmination of almost three years of work by members of our project team and our consultants, ARUP.”

Last month, SSE Renewables reached an agreement with SGRE to acquire its European renewable energy development platform for €580m.