Wicklow Port has been confirmed as the preferred home for Codling Wind Park’s Operations and Maintenance base, the long-term facility from which the offshore wind farm – located 13-22km off the coast of County Wicklow – will be operated and serviced.
The largest of Ireland’s Phase One offshore wind projects, Codling Wind Park will play a major role in helping Ireland achieve its 2030 target of 5 GW of electricity from offshore wind.
The location of the long-term base in Wicklow Town represents a major economic boost for the area, with significant investment to be made in the development of the port facilities in readiness to support Ireland’s flagship offshore wind project.
The busy fishing and commercial port has been selected following a detailed technical study of potential port options along the east coast and engagement with relevant port authorities and stakeholders.
The new base will provide offices, warehousing and vessel berthing facilities, as well as an operations control centre. This will enable the safe operation and maintenance of Codling Wind Park over its expected 30-year operational lifetime.
A total of 115 jobs are anticipated during the construction and operational phases combined. The new facility will see the creation of 75 new, long-term, local jobs in a variety of maintenance, technician, engineering, administration, and other roles. Additional potential benefits include training, retraining and apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There will also be opportunities for local businesses to support the planning, design, construction, and ongoing operation of the new base.
Construction of the new base, which could get underway in early 2025, will see the creation of an additional 40 temporary jobs.
Arno Verbeek, Project Director of the Codling Wind Park project, said: “We are delighted to announce Wicklow Port as our preferred long-term home and deliver on our determination to bring investment to local communities and businesses. With a long and successful history as both a fishing and commercial port, Wicklow is the perfect choice for our base, and we have been encouraged by the tremendous amount of local support for the project so far.
“This decision is a demonstration of our commitment to delivering the Codling project well within this decade, to help Ireland meet its 2030 targets. As a Phase One project, we have done a lot of work over many years, but momentum has really built in the last year and we are eager to continue to make progress. This announcement is another firm step forward, for Codling Wind Park and for the development of the offshore wind industry in Ireland.”
The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, welcomed the news, noting that it represents a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wicklow’.
“The selection of Wicklow Port as the long-term base for such a significant offshore wind project is a huge endorsement of our port and our town. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wicklow, placing us at the heart of the energy revolution that our country will undergo in the decades ahead.
“In addition to the economic boost during construction and the jobs it will create in the long-term, it offers other potential opportunities – enhancement of the port facilities, education and training, investment, openings for local businesses. It complements our ambitious plans for the regeneration of Wicklow Town and the entire harbour area, and we look forward to working with the Codling team and other stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of these exciting developments are fully realised for the local community.”
The next steps in the realisation of the Operations and Maintenance base will include site investigations and studies to assess the most suitable locations for the facilities, as well as engagement with local businesses, landowners, and other port users. A period of public consultation on the proposed plans, once they have been drafted, will take place prior to the submission of a planning application.
Codling Wind Park is a 50:50 joint venture between EDF Renewables and Fred. Olsen Renewables. With a maximum installed capacity of up to 1,500 megawatts, Codling Wind Park has the potential to provide renewable energy to up to 1.2 million Irish homes and save around 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. Subject to all necessary permits and consents being received, Codling Wind Park could begin construction in 2024/25, and is expected to take two to three years to complete.
To find out more about Codling Wind Park and how it will create a safer and healthier environment, alongside the vital role it has in helping the Government achieve its renewable energy targets, please visit www.codlingwindpark.ie.