ESB and Parkwind are collaborating to investigate the feasibility of developing the Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm, approximately 10km off the County Louth coast. If successful Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm will be the second project co-developed by this partnership, following on from the nearby Oriel Wind Farm Project which is expected to commence construction in in 2023.
ESB has been granted two Foreshore Licences, one for Clogherhead in 2018 and a second for Cooley Point in 2019, off the coast of County Louth as shown in the links to the DHPLG’s website section for Foreshore Licences below. It is proposed that both the licence areas will be merged into a single preferred potential development area to be called Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm.
The granting of a Foreshore Licence enables the project to undertake preliminary survey work and site investigation studies to determine suitability for an offshore farm and its grid connection route.
Such site investigation studies relate to the cable corridor, cable landfall areas, and the indicative location of the turbine array respectively. The results of the proposed survey work, in conjunction with other desktop studies, and community consultation will assist in determining the feasibility of developing an offshore wind farm at this location.
The limits of the foreshore licence do not reflect the proposed extent of layout of potential wind turbines on the site but simply the limits of proposed feasibility studies. Should the site be suitable for an offshore wind farm, proposed layouts will be developed within the limits of these study areas. The location of the nearest potential turbine is expected to more than 10km from shore at its nearest point.
Suitability dependent, ESB and Parkwind aim to seek planning permission for the project at the appropriate time under the terms of the Maritime Area Planning Bill which is due to be enacted in 2021.
Offshore surveying of the site will be integral to the potential development of the Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm. These will shape the project design for the feasibility and consenting process and ultimately inform the detailed design and construction phases of the project.
A number of offshore seabed and sub-seabed surveys will be required to analyse the geological and engineering characteristics of the wind farm site and associated cable routes. Surveys will consist of geophysical and geotechnical investigations and include within the scope of works:
• Side Scan Sonar
• Sub Bottom Profiling
• Magnetrometry Surveys
• Video & Photographic surveys
• Intrusive Borehole Sampling
• Cone Penetration Testing
Data collected will be used to build a comprehensive model of the seafloor and sub seafloor environment and will be used to help determine the feasibility for the development of a wind farm. This data will also inform the need for further surveys, and provide preliminary input to foundation design and cable route design including the optimum installation methodologies.
These surveys will be vessel based.
In addition to the geophysical and geotechnical surveys, both wind resource and metocean surveys will be required at the proposed Clogherhead Offshore Farm Wind site in order to provide wind (speed, direction), oceanographic (wave & tidal), and other meteorological data (temperature, humidity, pressure) which will be used to inform the wind farm engineering design, turbine selection, operational and installation parameters and estimate the future annual energy production at the site. These surveys are most likely to be conducted by means of temporary floating LiDar moored within and/or nearby the study area.
An array of environmental surveys will also be undertaken of the study area. These will include benthic surveys, marine mammal surveys, ornithology surveys and various other surveys required as the project design and environmental impact assessment necessitates. These will be both vessel based and aerial based surveys.