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An artist's impression of the proposed development at Moneypoint. There will also be banks of turbines at offshore locations.

Public consultation invited on Moneypoint Offshore Wind project

Ennis College Further Education

INTERESTED parties have been given the opportunity to engage in a virtual public consultation on the proposed Moneypoint Offshore Wind project.

An online ‘consultation room’ was launched this Tuesday and will be open for a period of six weeks, closing on Monday, October 17.

It will provide up-to-date information on the project as well as offer an opportunity for people to provide feedback and register to keep informed as the project progresses.

A number of documents about the project are currently provided in the online consultation room, outlining the significance of the enterprise.

Explaining its scale, one of the documents states that the project comprises two phases, namely Moneypoint One Offshore Wind, a floating wind project located approximately 16km offshore of southern Co Clare and approximately 22km west-northwest of Kerry Head in Co Kerry, and Moneypoint Two Offshore Wind, a floating wind project located further out to sea, at approximately 40km from the Co Clare and Kerry coastlines.

The project will have a combined potential output of approximately 1.4 gigawatts with the first phase anticipated to have an output capacity of approximately 400MW and the second phase an output capacity of 1,000MW.

It also says there will be approximately 75-100 wind turbines, each envisaged to have a maximum output capacity in the range of 15-20MW. The turbines will extend above the average sea level by up to 300 metres.

There is a prediction that the project is likely to be up and running in around eight years.

“It is envisaged that the construction phase will commence after the Financial Investment Decision and this should facilitate full commercial operation of the wind farm in 2029/2030.”

Local communities and fishermen will benefit from the project, it claimed.

“The annual Community Benefit Fund implemented as part of the Moneypoint Offshore Wind project will support a wide range of community-led projects over the operatonal lifetime of the wind farm.

“It is anticipated that projects successfully competing in the Offshore Renewable Energy Support Scheme (ORESS) will have to provide a contribution of €2 per megawatt hour of electricity generated over the duration of the ORESS support, and for a project such as Moneypoint Offshore Wind that will run to a multimillion euro fund per annum.

“Regarding those stakeholders who are dependent our our seas and ocean waters for their livelihood – the Irish Fishing Community – ESB believes strongly that they should be guaranteed a dedicated proportion of the CBF annually through any project’s operational life.”

It is stressed that offshore wind will be increasingly important in the coming years.

“Offshore wind generated energy will play a major role globally in mankind’s fight against climate change and our transition to a low-carbon economy by replacing energy generated by burning
carbon intense fossil fuels with clean renewable energy.

“To facilitate the transition,the Irish Government, in its Climate Action Plan (2019) stated that by 2030 70% of our electricity needs would be met by renewables, up from the national target of 40% by 2020.

“This has now been officially revised upwards to 80% following publication of the renewed National Development Plan 2021-2030.”

At the same time, demand for electricity is set to increase, in part due to the construction of data centres.

It references a forecast by Eirgrid that electricity demand is set to rise by about 33% between 2021 and 2030.

The connection of new large energy users (such as data centres) and the transition to electricity for transport (electric vehicles) and heating of buildings (electric heat pumps) being the key drivers of this demand.

“An increase in demand occurring at the same time as an increased renewables target requires large development of new low carbon forms of elecriticy generation,” the document states.

A webinar on the project will take place in the coming weeks. Anyone interesed can send their contact details to info@moneypointoffshorewind.ie to receive an invite or send them via the feedback form in the virtual consultation room.

You can access the consultation room here.

Owen Ryan
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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.