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Public can have their say on proposal for Sea Stacks wind farm 12km off the Dublin coast

A proposed wind farm off the Dublin and Wicklow coast has the potential to deliver enough energy to power more than 700,000 homes, it has been claimed.

ollowing an extensive site selection process in 2019 and 2020, the ESB applied for a foreshore licence so it can carry out exploratory works 12km off the east coast. A public consultation has been launched and will run until January 30.

The foreshore licence will allow the ESB to undertake preliminary survey work and if the location is deemed suitable for an offshore wind farm, a planning application is expected to follow.

The Sea Stacks project, named after the iconic Poolbeg chimneys, will cover an area of around 160 square km and will have an expected capacity of 800 megawatts – enough energy to power in excess of 700,000 homes.

The company said that in the same way the 1970s-built Poolbeg power station is “a monument to fossil fuel burning”, the Sea Stacks offshore wind farm will “represent a new era defined by transformation towards renewable energy”.

The proposed location was chosen for site investigation work because of its relatively shallow waters, less than 60m in depth, making it suitable for the installation of fixed foundation technology.

The distance of more than 10km from the coastline will also minimise the visual impact of a wind farm, according to the ESB. If the project proceeds, the wind farm will link with an existing grid connection at Poolbeg, currently used for thermal generation.

The ESB believes the Irish Sea has some of the best wind conditions in Europe for producing clean, renewable energy. It pointed out that the Programme for Government aims to deliver at least five gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.

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