An energy company has plans to cultivate the largest wind energy project in Ireland off the Cork coast.
DP Energy Ireland (DPEI) now aims to undertake a site investigation to assess the proposed Inis Ealga site and related seabed.
The proposed offshore floating wind farm zone will be a minimum of 9.9km from shore and will have a potential output of 720 MW when fully up and functioniing. That’s over 75% more than Galway Wind Farm which presently has the largest output in Ireland of 169 MW.
There is presently only one offshore wind energy project functioning in Ireland – The Arklow Bank Wind Farm with 25 MW capacity.
There are four sites making up Inis Ealga – the tiniest of which is 48.7 square kilometres, with the biggest area 354 square kilometres.
Prior to the project moving ahead, DPEI has applied for an Investigative Foreshore Licence for Offshore Renewable Energy. If approved, it will see a multitude of surveys undertaken comprising: geotechnical, geophysical, archaeological, bird, mammal, and wind in the region.
The results of these surveys will be used to choose optimal cable routes, landfall options, wind farm layout and provide baseline data for environmental influence assessments. Survey will be carried out within a five year period between April and October, trailing the award of the foreshore license.
The application region is located approximately 16.8km from the Ballycotton Gas Field, and 1.5km from the Helvick field. There are also 59 shipwrecks situated within the application area. The closest site to shore is site B, which is 10 km from Power Head.