SOUTH EAST COASTAL PROTECTION ALLIANCE

South East Coastal Protection Alliance is a voluntary group composed of local residents and concerned individuals, who are worried about the possible devastating impact that developing a wind farm on the Arklow Bank and other sand banks along the South-East coast will have on the coastal environment. This is an environmental conservation organisation.

THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

The proposed development is the Arklow Bank Wind Park 2 (ABWP2) Offshore Infrastructure (hereinafter referred to as the Proposed Development). The Proposed Development is an offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Co. Wicklow and Co. Wexford, on the east coast of Ireland. A Maritime Area Consent (MAC) (Ref 2022-MAC-002) was granted in December 2022 for the construction and operation of an offshore windfarm and associated infrastructure (including decommissioning and other
works) on and around the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea.

The site of the Proposed Development comprises an Array Area (the area within which the Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs), the Offshore Substation Platforms (OSPs), and associated cables (export, inter-array and interconnector cabling) and foundations will be installed) and a Cable Corridor and Working Area (the area within which export, inter-array and interconnector cabling will be installed). The overall Proposed Development site area is 139.4 km2 and all of the Proposed Development will be seaward of the High Water Mark (HWM). The Array Area is located approximately 6 km to 15 km off the coast and covers an area of approximately 63.4 km2. The Cable Corridor and Working Area extends from the Array Area to the HWM at Johnstown North, north of Arklow Town, Co. Wicklow where the offshore export cables make landfall (the Landfall). The area of the Cable Corridor and Working Area is 76.0 km2.

I. One of two Project Design Options – Project Design Option 1 (which comprises Models 1a and 1b, one of which will be selected) or Project Design Option 2. Project Design Option 1 (Models 1a and 1b) comprises WTGs with the same rotor diameter, hub height and tip heights and with slight variations in chord width and revolutions per minute (RPM) between the two models. The Project Design Options comprise the following parameters.

II. The WTGs for both Project Design Options will comprise three blades and a horizontal axis rotor. The blades will be connected to the hub, forming a rotor which turns a shaft connected either directly to the generator (‘direct drive’) or to a gearbox, which are located within the nacelle. Each WTG will be installed on a steel monopile foundation with a diameter ranging from 7 m to 11 m.

III. Two OSPs each comprising a topside structure with a main structure height of 53 m above LAT, an antennae height of 63 m above LAT, topside length of 46 m and topside width of 33.5 m, supported on a monopile foundation ranging from 7 m to 14 m in diameter. One OSP will be located in the north, and one will be located in the south of the Array Area. The OSP topside structure will contain switch gear, transformers, control equipment, auxiliary electrical equipment, cranes, batteries, generators, fire control systems, communication mast and other ancillary equipment.

IV. The monopile foundations for the WTGs and OSPs will consist of a hollow steel tube installed into the seabed. WTG monopile foundations will be installed to a depth ranging from 20 m to 37 m below Lowest Seabed Level (LSBL), while OSP monopile foundations will be installed to a depth ranging from 20 m to 45 m below LSBL.

V. A network of inter-array cabling between WTG and OSP locations with a length of between 110km and 122 km.

VI. Interconnector cabling between the two OSPs with a length of between 25 km and 28 km.

VII. Two export cable circuits extending from the OSPs to the proposed Landfall at Johnstown North with a combined length of between 35 km and 40 km.

VIII. Associated ancillary works comprising cable protection and scour protection. Cable protection will be installed to prevent movement and exposure of the cables over the lifetime of the
Proposed Development where the cables cannot be buried to the required depth. Scour protection will be used to protect the monopile foundations from tide induced scour that may occur around the monopile foundation.

IX. Ancillary components to be mounted on the monopile foundations including boat landings, J-tubes, platforms and davit cranes to support the construction, operation and decommissioning of the infrastructure described above.

X. Confirmatory surveys comprising geotechnical, geophysical and environmental surveys.

XI. Project Design Options 1 and 2 have defined WTG and OSP layouts with a 100 m limit of deviation applying to each location to allow avoidance of site constraints such as difficult ground
conditions during construction.

XII. At Landfall, the export cables will be installed using trenchless techniques between the HWM and the exit point of the trenchless technique. This involves installing the export cables along
underground drilled pathways of length between 350 m and 880 m, without the need to excavate an open trench.

XIII. This application is seeking a ten-year permission and 36.5 year operational life from the date of final commissioning of the Proposed Development.

THE PROPOSED TURBINE PLAN

ARKLOW BANK PROPOSAL BY SSE RENEWABLES (OPTION 1)

56 Turbines – 273m High

ARKLOW BANK PROPOSAL BY SSE RENEWABLES (OPTION 2)

47 Turbines – 287m High

Please help our campaign to move the Wind Turbines on to floating platforms 22km out to sea and make to Arklow Bank a Marine Protected Area

Detrimental effect on the environment

THE IMPACT

The Arklow sand banks have been formed over millennia by sand being carried up the east coast of Ireland, deposited on sandbanks and forming the beaches and sand dunes.  The sandbanks form a buffer against tides, storms and rising seas.  They also are central to replenishing the sand on our beaches along the south east coast. If wind turbines are erected on these sandbanks, we believe they will seriously interfere with this natural process and lead to the decimation of beaches and sand dunes.

SECPA is in favour of wind energy as a renewable source but object to these proposed projects on the sandbanks and believe that, while intending to solve one environmental problem, an even greater problem will be created.

Offshore wind farms are vast industrial complexes. Typically, they involve the following:

TOURISM

Tourism could be badly affected if, as we fear, the sandy beaches on the Wicklow/Wexford coast will be washed away as a result of building 76 wind turbines on the Arklow sandbank.

DAMAGE TO SANDBANKS AND COAST

A wind farm should not be built on the sandbank which should instead be designated as marine protected area.

Construction/maintenance work etc on the turbines will cause untold damage to the sandbank, which has been a natural defence for the preservation of the beaches & sand dunes along the east coast for millennia.

The sandbanks should be designated as marine protected areas and consequently, should NOT have wind farms built on them.

HORIZON POLLUTION

Horizon pollution will be caused by these turbines which are to be located so close to the shore (6-13km). The existing 7 turbines are 10km from the coast and are much smaller than the proposed turbines.

Throughout Europe, the trend for new massive, large scale wind farms is to situate them further offshore.

MARINE PROTECTED AREAS

These sandbanks are natural formations and a recognised marine habitat. The Arklow Sandbank should be designated as a marine protected area along with the existing Marine SACs  (Longbank & Blackwater sandbanks).

BIODIVERSITY

The Wicklow/Wexford coastline has many Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas which are protected under EU law and are now in danger.

Site Name: Bray Head SAC (000714)

Site Name: Buckroney-Brittas Dunes and Fen SAC (000729)

Site Name: Carriggower Bog SAC (000716)

Site Name: Kilpatrick Sandhills SAC (001742)

Site Name: Magherabeg Dunes SAC (001766)

Site Name: The Murrough SPA (004186)

Site Name: The Murrough Wetlands SAC (002249)

Site Name: Wicklow Head SPA (004127)

Site Name: Wicklow Reef SAC (002274)

Site Name: Ballyteige Burrow SAC (000696)

Site Name: Ballyteige Burrow SPA (004020)

Site Name: Bannow Bay SAC (000697)

Site Name: Bannow Bay SPA (004033)

Site Name: Blackwater Bank SAC (002953)

Site Name: Cahore Marshes SPA (004143)

Site Name: Cahore Polders and Dunes SAC (000700)

Site Name: Carnsore Point SAC (002269)

Site Name: Hook Head SAC (000764)

KITTIWAKES, WHALES & DOLPHINS

Offshore wind farms pose a significant danger to Kittiwakes because they fly up to 40km from land to feed. They are protected by EU Birds Directive and 4 other international agreements and unfortunately, are now on a Red List of threatened bird species.

Mammals such as porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, northern right whales, harbour seals and baleen whales can be disturbed by specific frequencies of underwater noise.

Please help our campaign to move the Wind Turbines on to floating platforms 22km out to sea and make to Arklow Bank a Marine Protected Area

Damage to the coastline and the eco systems

OUR CONCERNS

The sandbanks are a habitat for marine life and a feeding ground for birds and contribute to the natural supply of replacement sand for beaches and sand dunes.

The process of consenting to wind energy development on the foreshore to date, including Arklow Bank, has been developer-led and not plan-led. This approach is not in the public interest and may lead to sacrificing the existing Arklow Bank habitat, beaches, and sand dunes to the interests of a short-term gain.

The existing 7 turbines have already had an impact on the Arklow Bank.

Shortly after construction in 2004 it was found that the tides scoured the sand from the base of the turbines, and this had to be repaired. In addition, in 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted a dumping at sea permit to remove 99,999 tonnes of sand from the vicinity of the turbines.

Imagine what damage 76 of these turbines would do.

Windfarms located so close to the shore, as proposed on the Arklow Bank and Codling Bank, are not environmentally acceptable and the certain damage to the coastline and the eco systems will not be forgiven by the Irish people in generations to come.

For physical height illustrative purposes only
Note: Wind turbines placed off the South East coast will be 197m – 302m tall

Use the slider to view before and after images for proposed new turbine plan

View TodayView with Turbines

22km Wind turbine free zone off the South East coast

OUR PROPOSAL

A 22km wind turbine free zone aligns with EU best-practices, to protect biodiversity, our local fishing economy, our stunning seascapes and our tourism industry.
We are in favour of offshore wind projects that do not negatively impact our communities.

This developer led proposal dating from the mid-1990s is outdated. More recent engineering developments in floating turbine technology should be used instead.

We believe that the solution is to move the Wind Farm away from the sandbanks and use floating platforms instead. This is technically and commercially possible and the use of this method of construction is being proposed by the ESB at Moneypoint, on the West Coast of Ireland.
Floating Platforms are the preferred option of the EU and not one other EU country has placed offshore windfarms so close to the shore.

TURBINES POSITIONED 8KM FROM SHORE

8KM TURBINES FROM SHORE

TURBINES POSITIONED 23KM FROM SHORE

23KM TURBINES FROM SHORE

Wind Farms must be built on floating platforms further out to sea to protect the Wicklow and Wexford Coast that are already under serious threat because of Global Warming and Rising Sea levels.

For further relevant information on Windfarms please follow the links below

An example of a successful campaign

The US is currently building offshore wind developments having reviewed their permitting system following widespread concern about the impact of the first US offshore wind farm (a 460MW project with 130 turbines), proposed by a private developer in Nantucket Sound in 2001. The proposal was rejected and the campaign to protect the Sound continues. See Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

Should you wish to gain further information, please complete our form below

Please help our campaign to move the Wind Turbines on to floating platforms 22km out to sea and make to Arklow Bank a Marine Protected Area