Sceirde Rocks Windfarm selected in Ireland’s first offshore wind auction

  • Sceirde Rocks Windfarm set to be the first offshore windfarm on Ireland’s west coast
  • Project to generate enough power for 350,000 Irish homes and invest 5 million a year in the local community
  • Provisional auction result comes after the project achieved its maritime area consent in December

The Sceirde Rocks Windfarm off the west coast of Ireland is set to generate enough clean electricity to power more than 350,000 homes, after the Irish government announced the project has been named as provisionally successful in the country’s historic first offshore wind auction.

Ireland’s energy grid operator EirGrid and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications today confirmed that four windfarms totalling more than 3 GW – including the 450 MW Sceirde Rocks project – have been successful on a provisional basis under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1).

The results are provisional insofar as they are subject to normal Renewable Electricity Support Scheme confirmation and state aid processes, which are expected to be completed by mid-June.

“This is a momentous day in Ireland’s transition to build an economy powered by renewable energy,” said Tim Coffey, Project Director from Corio Generation, the developer of the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm. “The government has set a bold and ambitious goal of generating 80% of energy through renewables by 2030, including 7 GW from offshore wind, and Sceirde Rocks is one of the first offshore windfarms positioned to help make this a reality.”

Mr Coffey continued: “Our team is incredibly proud that the Sceirde Rocks Windfarm has been selected to provide electricity to Ireland’s power grid. We are immensely thankful to the community for their ongoing support for a project that will bring much needed investment and job opportunities to the Connemara region. Our locally-based team look forward to many more conversations as we continue to talk to community members and listen to their hopes and ambitions for the project.”

The Sceirde Rocks Windfarm, located off Country Galway, near Carna in Connemara, will harness one of the world’s most powerful wind resources on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Once operational, the 450 MW project will generate enough renewable electricity to avoid an estimated 550,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to taking 180,000 petrol cars off the road.

As one of the largest ever proposed infrastructure developments in the region, the project will bring a range of benefits to the community during its development, construction and operational phases. A multi-million-euro Community Benefit Fund will be available over a 20-year period to support a range of sustainable community initiatives in Connemara, with €3.5 million to be invested annually once the windfarm is operational.

Today’s auction announcement follows recent Sceirde Rocks project milestones including the completion of initial surveys in collaboration with the local fishing community, as well as the achievement of its Maritime Area Consent in December last year. The project will proceed to a planning application for development permission later in 2023.

The Sceirde Rocks Windfarm is being developed by leading offshore wind business Corio Generation through the Irish and Gaeltacht based company Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (FST). FST is a joint venture owned by Corio, a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and global infrastructure investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.