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SSE mulls sites for Arklow Bank O&M base
SSE is assessing Wicklow Port and Arklow Harbour in Ireland as possible locations for its operations and maintenance (O&M) hub for servicing the Arklow Bank offshore wind farm.
SSE is developing the 520MW second phase of the Arklow Bank and has appointed local specialist engineering and marine consultancy Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) to help select the location for its servicing base.
As part of the process GDG is providing an engineering appraisal of individual port-side facilities in both Arklow and Wicklow against a set of constraints and development requirements identified by SSE and wind turbine suppliers.
The study will be completed in a few months’ time with the preferred location chosen by early summer.
Arklow Bank’s second phase will be based off the coastline of County Wicklow on Ireland’s eastern seaboard. The first phase of Arklow Bank consists of 25.2MW of operational capacity, owned by GE.
The O&M base will support around 60 full-time employees as well as various companies across the supply chain, including those involved in vessel services, fuel supplies, technical inputs, and loading and unloading of project cargoes.
According to SSE the development of the service base and associated long-term employment represents an opportunity for significant new investment and ongoing economic activity in County Wicklow.
The study, currently underway, is considering the marine infrastructure required for the O&M hub, such as the type and number of crew transfer vessels necessary to support the wind farm, and the layout and requirements of any permanent quayside operations buildings.
Development plans for the facility will then be subject to the normal planning application and consultation process.
SSE Arklow Bank Wind Park project manager James O’Hara said: “In north-east Scotland, where we are currently developing the 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth, we have seen the creation of a major new operations base in nearby Wick Harbour to support the wind farm.
“This has involved the renovation of existing harbour buildings and facilities, out of which 90 local and full-time employees will be based to support the wind farm when completed.”
O’Hara said in selecting the location for the facility SSE will have full regard for the technical requirements of the proposed base, as well as local stakeholder interests.
“To that end, we are actively engaging with community representatives in both towns to fully understand stakeholder interactions and current user activities in each port location,” he said
Source of information: renews.biz