The substation is expected to support the development of Ireland’s first large-scale offshore wind farm with 520MW capacity


SSE, Echelon Data Centres to develop a joint substation. (Credit: SSE.)

Ireland-based SSE Renewables and Echelon Data Centres have agreed to jointly develop a 220kV substation at the Avoca River Business Park, Arklow.

The development of the new substation is estimated to need an investment of around €50m.

The substation is expected to support the development of Ireland’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Co. Wicklow with 520MW export capacity, and Echelon’s DUB20 (Arklow) 100MW data centre.

Also, the project is the first joint initiative between an offshore wind farm and a data centre to develop the grid infrastructure in Ireland.

On behalf of both developers, SSE Renewables will be responsible for the development and construction of the substation.

The project is expected to support the Arklow region with 250 new jobs, including the creation of up to 80 new jobs during the substation construction.

New substation to allow Arklow offshore wind farm to directly connect to grid

SSE Renewables is actively developing the Phase 2 Arklow Bank Wind Park, which is planned to be built in a lease area located six to 13km off Ireland’s Co. Wicklow coastline, east of Arklow.

The offshore wind farm is estimated to have the potential to reduce Ireland’s annual carbon emissions by around 1%.

Echelon Data Centres is developing a network of large-scale data centre campuses across Europe, and is planning to build a 100MW data centre at the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow.

The new substation is expected to enable the offshore wind farm and data centre to directly connect to the Irish national grid, once they are completed.

Echelon Data Centres CEO Niall Molloy said: “We’re delighted to be working with SSE Renewables on such a significant initiative, one which enables Ireland’s first large-scale offshore windfarm, contributing greatly to the country’s targets of delivering 1GW of offshore renewable energy by 2025 and 5GW by 2030, and facilitating the creation of 250 jobs locally.

“It is also a model for the future, where data centre facilities are located close to the source of renewable energy, providing a constant demand for the power and working with renewable energy providers to facilitate the development of the necessary infrastructure. The initiative represents meaningful progress on the road to cleanly and sustainably powered data centres.”