SSE Renewables has received planning permission from Ireland’s national planning body An Bord Pleanála for transmission grid works related to 800MW Phase 2 of its Arklow Bank Wind Park.

The planning approval allows the company to develop onshore grid infrastructure required for connecting the Arklow Bank Wind Park to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid.

The company is set to file an application with the Ireland’s Maritime Area Consent (MAC) to seek planning permission for the project’s offshore infrastructure, including offshore wind turbines, offshore substation platforms, and subsea cables.

An Bord Pleanála issued the planning decision to Sure Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of SSE Renewables that develops the Arklow Bank wind project.

The decision allows the development of a 220kV substation at Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, and connect the new substation to the existing national grid.

Also, works include an underground cable route and related infrastructure to connect the substation to the landfall point at Johnstown North, Arklow, where it will meet the planned subsea offshore cables connecting to the wind farm.

It is the first renewable energy firm to obtain planning permission to develop onshore transmission grid infrastructure for an offshore wind farm in Ireland, said SSE Renewables.

SSE Renewables Arklow Bank development manager Kaj Christiansen said: “We’re delighted to have received this decision from An Bord Pleanála, and to have achieved this critical milestone in the development of the Arklow Bank Wind Park, Phase 2.

“This consent is the culmination of almost three years of work by members of our project team and our consultants, ARUP. This is the first ever planning decision for any component of an offshore wind farm of scale in Ireland.”

SSE Renewables is developing Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park, planned to be located six to 13km off the Co. Wicklow coastline, to the east of Arklow.

The development works aim to deliver up to 800MW of installed offshore wind energy under the Ireland’s new Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act process.

The next phase of Arklow Bank wind project will power around 850,000 households and offset nearly 830 billion kilogrammes of harmful carbon emissions per annum.

SSE Renewables said that the offshore wind project would require up to €2.5bn investment and is expected to deliver first power in 2028.

Christiansen added: “It marks a significant step forward for the country, for our planning authorities, and for industry as we work collaboratively to deliver offshore wind in Ireland at scale.

“The decision also brings SSE Renewables a step closer in delivering the next phase of Arklow Bank Wind Park, and our ambition to unlock investment, deliver jobs and local community benefits, and critically help achieve Ireland’s climate action targets by 2030.”