DP Energy, one of Ireland’s leading developers of renewable energy projects, is planning to carry out a geophysical survey beyond the 12 nautical mile limit at their proposed Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park off the coasts of Cork and Waterford.
The survey, which will cover approximately 900 Km2, will begin on 8th September and will take place for a period of five days. The work will be undertaken by Hydrographic Surveys of Crosshaven onboard the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel, ILV Granuaile, a multifunctional ship which is equipped to operate in difficult sea conditions.
The Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park is a 1,000 MW (1GW) offshore wind project which will use floating platform technology anchored to the seabed. Once operational, the proposed wind farm will generate enough clean renewable energy to power the equivalent of nearly one million homes. Delivery of this scheme, planned to be operational by 2030, will significantly contribute to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan target of 7 Gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and the longer-term target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
To develop the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park project, DP Energy has partnered with global energy leader Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest renewable energy producers. Iberdrola has substantial experience in offshore wind development and, importantly, shares DP Energy’s commitment to a sustainable and ethical approach to development.
The upcoming survey of the Inis Ealga Marine Park location will provide valuable information on the make-up of the seabed and this will be used to inform the project design, siting of turbines and construction methods for the proposed park. The results will also assist in the preparation of specifications for additional future geophysical and geotechnical surveys.
Adam Cronin, Head of Offshore at DP Energy, outlines the processes that will be used:
“The equipment we are planning to use includes a hull mounted multibeam sonar and sub bottom profiler. This survey will provide information about the seabed make-up at various depths. We will be able to image the sediment and rock layers beneath the surface of the seabed giving us crucial information on sediment layers for design. The data obtained from the surveys will be utilised in the design of the project and the design will be in the public domain as part of the Development Consenting process.”
Commenting on the announcement Dave Ward, Commercial Manager at Commissioner of Irish Lights said: “Granuaile is a key asset of Irish Lights in delivery of its navigation safety service around the coast of Ireland. Irish Lights can provide a range of services, statutory and commercial to support local partners in the transition to offshore renewable energy. We are pleased to support DP Energy to enable and harness Irish natural resources in offshore wind, in order to drive the establishment of an indigenous Irish supply chain while underpinning marine based employment.”
Headquartered in Buttevant in North Cork and operating across the world, DP Energy is committed to using the most sustainable and environmentally responsible methods in all of their energy developments. Currently, DP Energy has a 5,000+ megawatt (MW) portfolio of wind, ocean and solar energy projects in development stages across Ireland, Australia, the UK and Canada.
In addition to the Inis Ealga project, DP Energy, in conjunction with Iberdrola, has also submitted Foreshore Licence applications for Clarus Offshore Wind Farm, off the coasts of Clare and Kerry (floating) and Shelmalere Offshore Wind Farm, off the coasts of Wicklow and Wexford (fixed).