ONE of Ireland’s leading developers of renewable energy projects, Buttevant-based DP Energy, is to undertake a geophysical survey of the seabed off Cork/Waterford coast in preparation for development of a gigantic offshore floating wind farm.
he five-day survey, which will get underway on Thursday, will cover roughly 900km2 of seabed beyond the 12-mile limit at the company’s proposed Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park.
It is a 1,000 megawatt offshore wind farm project comprised of up to 70 turbines that will use floating platforms anchored to the seabed, generating enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of one million homes once operational.
DP Energy said the scheme, which is planned to be fully operational by 2030, will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s Climate Action target of developing seven gigawatt’s of wind energy by 2030 and the longer-term target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
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.
The company has partnered with global energy leader Iberdrola to develop the Inis Ealga Marine Park, one of three similar offshore energy projects off the Irish coast including the Shelamare Wind Farm off the east coast and the Clarus Wind Farm off the coast of counties Clare and Kerry. The Inis Ealga survey will be undertaken by Crosshaven-based Hydrographic Surveys aboard the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel ILV Granuaile, a multifunctional ship equipped to operate in difficult sea conditions, which when delivered in 2000 was one of the most advanced vessels of its kind in the world.
DP Energy Head of Offshore, Adam Cronin, said the survey would provide valuable information on the make-up of the seabed that will be used to inform the project design, siting of turbines and construction methods for the proposed park.
“The equipment we are planning to use includes a hull mounted multi-beam sonar and sub bottom profiler. This survey will provide information about the seabed make-up at various depths,” said Mr Cronin.
“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,” he added.
Dave Ward, commercial manager at the Commissioner of Irish Lights, said they were delighted to be able to partner with 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,” said Mr Ward.