Over the course of 2019 and 2020 ESB undertook an extensive site selection process for the entire coast of Ireland to identify potentially suitable sites for developing offshore wind farms.
The process involved preliminary assessments of both environmental and technical aspects with consideration for the various stakeholders and marine users who could potentially be impacted by both site investigation works and the ultimate development of the wind farm.
Sea Stacks Offshore Wind Farm is one of ESB’s proposed development projects. The site is located approximately 12km (at the nearest point) off the Dublin & Wicklow Coast. The ultimate site will be refined over time and it is anticipated that the final wind farm area is likely to be in the order of 160km2 which is approximately 50% of the overall turbine array study area (subject to detailed layout / energy analysis). The expected capacity output of such a project will be approximately 800MW which is enough energy to power in excess of 700,000 homes.
The project name is derived from the iconic Poolbeg Chimney stacks, one of the most readily identifiable landmarks in Dublin. The stacks are associated with Poolbeg Generating Station, constructed in the early 1970s, and are a monument to an era of fossil fuel burning. In the same way, we believe that Sea Stacks Offshore Wind Farm will become representative of a new era defined by transformation towards renewable energy.
In November 2020, ESB submitted a Foreshore License application to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The grant of a Foreshore Licence will convey the right to undertake preliminary survey work and
site investigation studies for what could be the location of the Sea Stacks Offshore Wind Farm.
Such site investigation studies relate to the potential turbine array site, the cable corridor and the cable landfall areas. The results of the proposed survey work, in conjunction with other desktop studies, will assist in determining the feasibility of developing an offshore wind farm at this location.
The survey work will be used to inform the optimal area for the wind farm within the study site and will also provide baseline data for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process. Should the site be deemed suitable for an offshore wind farm, ESB aims to seek planning permission for the project at the appropriate time under the terms of the Marine Area Planning Bill which is due to be enacted in 2021.
A link to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage application webpage for this project will be posted on this page as soon as it is available.
The application documents submitted to the Department will also be posted on this page when the application is formally accepted by the Department.