Sceirde Rocks Windfarm receives maritime area consent

The Sceirde Rocks Windfarm, the first commercial-scale offshore wind project on Ireland’s west coast, was today granted Maritime Area Consent by the Irish government. The 450 MW project is among the first wave of proposed offshore windfarms now cleared for the next stage in the consenting process.

Tim Coffey, Project Director for the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm said: “The awarding of the Maritime Area Consent is a significant milestone in the development of the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm. This is the first step in the consenting process, paving the way for the project to compete in Ireland’s first Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. 

Mr Coffey continued: “We are proud to have been one of the first wave of projects to undergo this assessment under the new Maritime Area Planning Act. This has been a rigorous process in which we have demonstrated our technical capabilities and shown how the project will help meet the Irish government’s 2030 climate targets.

“As we prepare for the next stage, we will continue with our community consultations to help build awareness of the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm and the benefits it will bring to the region.”

Located near Carna in Connemara, County Galway, the windfarm will be one of the largest infrastructure projects the region has ever seen and should provide enough electricity for more than 350,000 homes on completion. The windfarm was designated as a ‘Relevant Status’ development by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, placing it among the ‘Phase One’ wave of large-scale Irish offshore wind projects due for completion by 2030. 

The Sceirde Rocks Windfarm is being developed by Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (FST), an Irish and Gaeltacht-based joint venture by offshore wind developer Corio Generation, a Macquarie Green Investment Group portfolio company, and global investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

Séamus McCabe, Senior Development Director at Corio Generation said: “Corio fully supports Ireland’s vision to deliver 7 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. We look forward to working closely with the government and local communities to ensure the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm makes a critical contribution towards this target as soon as possible. 

“Offshore wind will make a vital contribution to Ireland’s economic future. This source of clean, affordable and homegrown electricity will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, generate employment opportunities and provide significant investment in the community in  Connemara for years to come.”

In line with the requirements of the proposed Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, the Sceirde Rocks project would, if realised, lead to the establishment a Community Benefit Fund. Once the project becomes operational, the multi-million-euro fund will be available to groups in South West Connemara over a 20-year period, to support a range of sustainable community initiatives.

Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta was acquired by the Green Investment Group (GIG) in September 2021 and is now managed by Corio Generation, which was established as a specialist offshore wind business by GIG in April 2022.

Read on Corio’s website