Frequently Asked Questions
Dublin Array Wind Farm is 50% owned by RWE and 50% by Saorgus Energy.
RWE Renewables, the newest subsidiary of the RWE Group, is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. With around 3,500 employees, the company has onshore and offshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants and battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of approximately 9 gigawatts. RWE Renewables is driving the expansion of renewable energy in more than 15 countries on four continents. For further growth a net investment budget of €5 billion is available until 2022. When adding in possible partnerships, the medium term investment budget could reach up to €9 billion. The focus is on the Americas, the core markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Saorgus Energy initiated the development of Dublin Array and has also developed over 300MW of onshore wind energy projects in Ireland. It also owns and operates three onshore wind farms.
The project is in the development phase. RWE is leading on the development of the project on behalf of the partnership. We are expecting to submit the application for planning consent in early 2021.
There is a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement programme planned for later this year to ensure that everyone has a chance to talk to us about the project. We will be updating the project website regularly in order that everyone can view key facts, news and development details.
Following our submission of our updated development consent application, you will also be entitled to take part in the statutory process by submitting comments on the project directly to the relevant consenting authority.
Dublin Array is located on the Kish and Bray Banks, 10km from the coast of Dublin and Wicklow Counties.
We are currently exploring technological advances in offshore wind turbines. This could result in individual turbine heights increasing from our previous estimates. However, this will also greatly reduce the number of turbines as each turbine will have a greater output.
With advances in technology turbine blade tip heights of up to 250 metres are considered likely to be readily available within the timeframe for when Dublin Array is planned to commence its construction stage. We are continually monitoring technology developments and this could result in the turbine heights increasing from previous estimates. This could mean a great reduction in the number of turbines proposed for Dublin Array when compared with the previous Foreshore Lease applications.
Depending on the final turbine selection each turbine will have a generating capacity between 8MW and 15MW, which means that the electricity generated by the wind farm will be between 600MW – 1GW. The figure will be dependent upon the size and number of turbines that we install. We are continuing to undertake technical and environmental studies and consultation activities to bring forward a project which is aligned with government policy and renewable energy targets.
RWE is investigating the availability of suitable ports both for construction and for operations during the life of the wind farm.
A number of landfall sites that are suitable for the power export cables to connect into the grid onshore are under consideration. It is possible that more than one landfall site will be required.
- The wind farm needs to connect into the EirGrid transmission system therefore studies are being carried out in consultation with EirGrid to establish the likely connection point or points.
- It is likely that the connection point will be at an existing EirGrid transmission substation, potentially Carrickmines and/or Poolbeg, and that either new substation or additional electrical infrastructure will be required at, or close to the connection point.
- The onshore works will comprise the installation of buried cables between landfall and the connection point. No overhead lines are proposed and all the works are required to be designed and built to EirGrid specifications.
- The onshore electrical system will require planning permission and will be treated as an integral part of the project. Updated information about the onshore works will be available through the project stakeholder engagement programme and publicised on the Dublin Array website.
- The onshore electrical system needs to be in place before the first generation of the offshore wind farm. This means that construction activity onshore will start early in the programme, with a typical time period being around two years.
The project has been in development since 1999 and has had a number of foreshore licences in that time. The most recent was applied for in October 2019 and will allow us to undertake further surveys of the seabed and to install buoy mounted equipment to provide data on weather and sea conditions. The information will be used to progress the engineering design and to inform the ongoing environmental assessments required as part of the consent process. It is expected that additional foreshore licences will be required for subsequent surveys.
Supply Chain Opportunities
The project could offer significant economic opportunities for businesses with potential supply chain benefits and associated jobs and contracts, as well as training opportunities. We will be opening a supplier portal on our website for potential suppliers to register their interest soon. Keep an eye on our website for updates.
RWE has a long history of supporting the communities in which it operates. As the Dublin Array project progresses we will work with communities to develop our approach to supporting the local area, in line with the requirements of the Governments Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS), when these are finalised. We expect that, as per RESS 1, this will encourage a focus on funding that supports education, energy efficiency, sustainable energy, and climate action initiatives.
We are committed to offering a community benefit fund at Dublin Array which will encourage a focus on funding that supports education, energy efficiency, sustainable energy and climate action initiatives. The value of the community benefit fund at Dublin Array will be in line with the requirements of the relevant Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS), when these are finalised.