SSE renewable energy subsidiary, SSE Renewables has selected Arklow Harbour as the preferred location for the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Base for the 520MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 offshore wind project.

The new base located at South Dock of Arklow Harbour will operate as a hub for the offshore wind complex and will be home to 80 full-time employees who will be recruited to carry out O&M for the wind farm.

It will comprise a new purpose-built office, warehouse buildings and an adjacent quayside berthing for up to four crew transfer vessels.

SSE Renewables said that the development will support companies across the supply chain, including those involved in vessel services and site survey, hospitality, fuel, consultancy, logistics and stevedoring.

The firm has signed land option agreements at the South Dock to progress the development. It also plans to apply to the Wicklow County Council for planning permission for the base at the beginning of 2021.

The wind project is expected offset about 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year

Wicklow County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Irene Winters said: “SSE Renewables’ announcement is a great vote of confidence for County Wicklow.

“This project will place Ireland well on its way towards achieving its objective of generating 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“It provides great opportunities to build on County Wicklow’s maritime traditions by providing skilled employment opportunities, skills transfer, training and development, and spin off investment for both Wicklow and Arklow.

“This places us well on our way towards achieving our goal of developing County Wicklow as a Centre of Excellence for the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector.”

Once operational, the wind project is expected to provide power for approximately around half a million homes per year while offsetting about 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

In January this year, SSE Renewables announced its plans to build 47MW extension to the existing 70MW Gordonbush wind project in Scotland.