A number of information clinics on Ireland’s largest offshore wind farm proposal will take place in Wicklow and Greystones later this month (March).

Codling Wind Park is a proposed offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, set in an area called Codling Bank, about 13-22km off the Co. Wicklow coast, between Greystones and Wicklow Town.

It is being developed by Codling Wind Park Ltd. (CWPL), a 50/50 joint venture between Fred. Olsen Renewables and EDF Renewables.

The public consultation period involving webinars and a virtual exhibition opened on Monday (March 1) and information clinics will take place from March 15 to March 27.

Wind farm development

With wind speeds of 9.7m/s at 130m above sea level and shallow waters with depths ranging from 10m to 25m, the developers have said that the Codling Bank area is well suited to deliver a highly significant renewable energy project. 

The final decision on the size and number of turbines has not yet been made. There are a number of ongoing survey activities which will help to inform this decision.

The current expectation is that there would be a maximum of 140 turbines across 125sq/km of the site.

The developers have said that with an expected capacity of up to 1,500megawatts (MW), Codling Wind Park has the potential to supply the equivalent of up to 1.2 million Irish homes – 70% of all Irish households – with low-carbon, locally-produced, low-cost electricity, and to save almost 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

70 full-time long-term jobs are expected to be created as a result of the development, with 1,000 jobs during the construction phase.

Public feedback and planning

The public consultation aspect of the development opened on Monday last with the online publication of a virtual exhibition which will remain open to view until March 14.

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, face-to-face engagements are not possible and so a series of online consultation activities will take place up until March 27.

In addition to the two-week virtual exhibition, there will also be two webinars hosted by the project team and a series of virtual information clinics to facilitate individual and small group meetings with project representatives. 

Appointments – including in the evening and at weekends – will be available for residents and organisations in districts as follows:

  • Wicklow Municipal District: March 15-20;
  • Greystones Municipal District: March 23-27.

The onshore and offshore planning applications are expected to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in late 2021 or early 2022, alongside a single Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR).

If approval is granted, Codling could begin construction in 2024/25. Construction is expected to take two to three years to complete.