Home Knowledge Government Publishes Grid Connection Pathway for Unsuccessful ORESS 1 Projects

Government Publishes Grid Connection Pathway for Unsuccessful ORESS 1 Projects

The CRU has published its decision paper on the grid access pathway for Phase 1 offshore wind projects that were unsuccessful in the ORESS 1 capacity auction concluded in June 2023.


The first offshore renewable electricity support scheme auction (ORESS 1) received submissions from six projects. Of these six submissions, four received a Notice of Award comprising 3,074 MW of awarded capacity. The decision paper concerns the two unsuccessful projects, or ‘Merchant Phase 1 Projects’, which are the 375 MW ‘Oriel’ owned by JERA, ESB and Orsted, and the 800 MW ‘Arklow Bank 2’ owned by SSE (i.e. a further 1,175 MW of offshore generation capacity).

These projects are considered to be well progressed in their development and ability to connect to the grid, as they already possess valid Grid Connection Assessments (GCA) until end of July 2024 and Maritime Area Consents (MAC), these both having been required to participate in ORESS 1.

Merchant Phase 1 Project Pathway

As such, the projects will be given the opportunity to be developed once a “Route to Market” can be found and planning consent from An Bord Pleanála obtained. Accordingly, to be eligible to apply for a grid connection from EirGrid, the developers must submit the relevant planning application before the backstop date in the MAC which is 18 months from the award last December, i.e. before 23 June 2024; and also submit a Director’s declaration to the CRU by the end June 2024 either:

  • confirming a Route to Market; or
  • an intention to obtain a Route to Market to the satisfaction of the Marine Area Regulatory Authority (MARA), in its role as grantor of the MAC.

Merchant Phase 1 projects are expected to apply to EirGrid for their Full Connection Offer (FCO) no later than 3 months following receipt of the planning consenting process with An Bord Pleanála.

The Merchant Phase 1 projects will contribute to Ireland’s target to install at least 5 GW capacity of offshore wind generation by 2030, as set out in the Programme for Government.

The CRU states that the decision allows “reliable and fair treatment between all Phase 1 participants regardless of their Route to Market e.g., by state subsidy or requiring a Corporate Purchase Power Agreement“.

ORESS 2 Pathway

The decision paper applies only to ORESS Phase 1 projects. A decision in relation to the grid access pathways for ORESS Phase 2 projects is expected to be published once the South Coast Designated Maritime Area Plan (DMAP) is adopted by the Oireachtas.

The decision paper is available to view in full here.