Over the course of 2019 and 2020 ESB and Equinor 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.
Moneypoint Offshore Wind Farm is ESB and Equinor’s flagship floating offshore wind development project proposed in Ireland. If developed, the project will be delivered in two phases. The first phase, Moneypoint Offshore One is located 16km off the Clare /Kerry Coast. The expected capacity from the first phase is estimated to be 400MW with the final windfarm area likely to be in the order of 70km2. The second phase, Moneypoint Offshore Two would be located a further 20km west of Moneypoint Offshore One, taking the total project capacity to between 1GW – 1.5GW. The latter phase would have a likely area of 200km2.
The expected capacity output of the project as a whole, could provide enough energy to power up to 1.5 million homes.
The project will take its name from ESB’s Moneypoint Coal fired plant in Co.Clare, Ireland’s
largest electricity generation station to date. This plant was once a lifeline to the Irish electricity transmission system but with the aim to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gases, the coal plant is due
to cease operation in 2025. This wind farm is likely to connect into Moneypoint substation and utilise the spare capacity available following the coal plant closure. The evolution and transition
of this plant from coal to renewables will see the continued supply of electricity generation from this area but from a cleaner energy source.
In January 2021, ESB and Equinor submitted a Foreshore License application to the Department
of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The grant of a Foreshore license will convey the right to undertake preliminary survey work and
site investigation studies for what could be the location of the Moneypoint Offshore One Wind farm and its grid connection route.
Such site investigation studies relate to the cable corridor, cable landfall areas, and the indicative location of the site respectively. 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.
Should the site be deemed suitable for an offshore windfarm, ESB and Equinor aim to seek planning permission for the project at the appropriate time under the terms of the Marine Planning and Development Management 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.