Over the course of 2019 and 2020 ESB and Equinor undertook an extensive site selection process for the entire coast of Ireland to identify potentially suitable sites for developing offshore wind farms.
The process involved preliminary assessments of both environmental and technical aspects with consideration for the various stakeholders and marine users who could potentially be impacted by both site investigation works and the ultimate development of the wind farm.
Helvick Head Offshore Wind Farm is one of ESB and Equinor’s proposed development projects. The site is located approximately 10km southeast of Helvick Head off the Waterford Coast. The ultimate site will be refined over time and it is anticipated that the final windfarm area is likely to be in the order of 140km2 which is approximately 40% of the overall turbine array study area (subject to detailed layout / energy analysis). The expected capacity output of the project will be approximately 700MW which is enough energy to power up to 700,000 homes based on the wind prevalence in the area.
The project takes its name from Helvick Head, a landmark location along the Waterford coastline and the closest onshore point to the site. The name Helvick is derived from the Old Norse language spoken by the Vikings (likely translated as “safe bay”) who landed on these shores in the Middle Ages.
In December 2020, ESB and Equinor submitted a Foreshore License application to the
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The grant of a Foreshore license will convey the right to undertake preliminary survey work and
site investigation studies for what could be the location of the Helvick Offshore Wind farm.
Such site investigation studies relate to the potential turbine array site, cable corridor and cable landfall areas, respectively. The results of the proposed survey work, in conjunction with other desktop studies will assist in determining the feasibility of developing an offshore wind farm at this location.
The survey work will be used to inform the optimal area for the wind farm within the study site and will also provide baseline data for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process. Should the site be deemed suitable for an offshore windfarm, ESB and Equinor aim to seek planning permission for the project at the appropriate time under the terms of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill which is due to be enacted in 2021.
A link to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage application webpage for this project will be posted on this page as soon as it is available.
The application documents submitted to the Department will also be posted on this page when the application is formally accepted by the Department.