The Ramboll and GDG design team was selected to design the wind turbine structures for the 520MW Arklow Bank wind park phase two project. Image courtesy of Ramboll.
SSE Renewables is developing the second phase of the Arklow Bank wind park off the coast County Wicklow in Arklow, Ireland. Image courtesy of SSE Renewables.
The Arklow Harbour will house the operations and maintenance base for the Arklow Bank wind park phase two. Image courtesy of SSE Renewables.

The Arklow Bank wind park located off the coast of County Wicklow in Arklow, Ireland is planned to have 520MW additional capacity under phase two expansion.

The Arklow Bank phase two offshore wind farm was proposed by SSE Renewables in 2018 at an estimated cost ranging between £895m ($1.18bn) and £1.81bn ($2.34bn).

While the preparation of two environmental impact assessments (EIA) reports on the offshore and onshore grid infrastructure of the project is underway, the construction works are expected to commence in 2023. The numerical modelling and detailed site investigations for the proposed project were concluded in 2019.

The developer aims to submit a consent application along with EIA reports to the Irish authorities by December 2020.

Expected to be fully functional by 2025, the Arklow Bank wind park phase two project is expected to generate up to 1.75TWh of electricity annually, powering approximately 450,000 homes, and offsetting approximately 640,000t of CO2 a year.

Location and site details

The Arklow Bank wind park phase two will be located in the shallow waters of the Irish Sea, approximately 13km off the Wicklow County coastline, to the east of Arklow in Ireland.

The project was granted a foreshore lease in 2002. The offshore lease area for the project measures 27km-long and 2.5km-wide.

Arklow Harbour’s south dock was selected as the preferred location to host the operations and maintenance base for the Arklow Bank phase two wind project in June 2020.

Arklow Bank phase two make-up and infrastructure details

The offshore wind farm will comprise 76 turbines with a total installed capacity of 520MW. The maximum tip height of the wind turbine will be about 197m.

The offshore energy infrastructure will include up to two substation platforms, inter-array cables, and offshore export cables.

The onshore facility will consist of a gas-insulated substation, transformers, and export cables connected to the existing transmission network.

The project also involves the construction of an operations and maintenance facility (OMF), which will house warehousing facilities, marine infrastructure, pontoons, and berths for up to four crew transfer vessels (CTV).

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Arklow Bank wind park phase two will be evacuated through subsea export cables and two underground electricity cables from the landfall to a new 220kV onshore substation.

Contractors engaged

The design team of Ramboll and Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) was selected by SSE Renewables to provide a concept design for the wind turbine structures in November 2020.

SSE Renewables engaged a consortium of Partrac, MetOceanWorks, and Cooper Marine Advisors for the geomorphological assessment of the Arklow Bank wind project phase two in July 2020.

RPS Group conducted marine site investigations and prepared the natural impact statement for the project in March 2020.

Mason Hayes and Curran advised SSE Renewables on the planning and the foreshore lease of the offshore wind farm project in September 2019.

ABPmer was contracted by SSE Renewables for the preparation of a preliminary site condition report and associated metocean survey in June 2019.

GDG, a geotechnical engineering, and marine consultancy was appointed for the assessment of the future onshore service base of the Arklow Bank wind farm in March 2019.

Arklow Bank wind power project phase one

Phase one of the Arklow wind farm comprises seven 3.6MW wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 25.2MW. The project was commissioned by its owner and operator GE Energy in June 2004.

Co-developed by Airtricity, the Arklow wind park phase one lies in the Irish Sea on sandbank, to the south of Dublin. Nexans supplied 23km of 35kV optical fibre submarine cables for power transport from the wind farm to an onshore cable station.