The Government’s cross-departmental Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce has published its “indicative roadmap” towards the State’s next offshore wind auction (ORESS 2.1).
This builds on the momentum from Ireland’s successful first offshore renewable electricity subsidy scheme auction round (ORESS 1) in May. Roughly 3GW of offshore wind generation capacity was awarded under ORESS 1 in what was a breakthrough moment for the country’s offshore wind market. This was comprised of circa 2.6GW off the east coast and 450MW off the west coast of Ireland.
Location & Quantity
ORESS 2.1 will procure up to 900MW of offshore wind generation capacity from a State-selected provisional designated area, known as a Designated Maritime Area Plan (DMAP), located off the south coast of Ireland (the South Coast DMAP). The South Coast DMAP will represent Ireland’s first step into the plan-led development phase of the country’s offshore potential. It will act as a management plan and will determine the broad area in which offshore wind generation eligible for ORESS 2.1 can be developed.
The roadmap sets out a number of steps towards Ireland’s next offshore wind auction, which are modelled on several different scenarios (including different dates of publication for the South Coast DMAP and the potential for judicial review proceedings). These steps include:
- Publication of the draft South Coast DMAP will follow an extensive public engagement period (March or April of 2024);
- Adoption of the final South Coast DMAP (June or September 2024); and
- Publication of the Draft Terms and Conditions for ORESS 2.1 (March 2024).
The indicative roadmap envisages that prequalification for ORESS 2.1 will take place between October 2024 and June 2025, with the issuance of the ORESS Letters of Offer (and the award of the related Maritime Area Consent (MAC) occurring between February and October 2025.
Integrated MAC-ORESS Process
Following feedback received through the ORESS 2 consultation, the roadmap has been drafted on the basis of an integrated MAC-ORESS process aimed at balancing the need to mitigate against speculative auction bidding, administrative efficiency and Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA)’s obligations under the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021. Additional detail on the proposed functioning of this process is included in the explanatory notes to the roadmap at the link below.
The ORESS 2.1 roadmap is available to view in its entirety here.
Contributed by Colm Booth & Matthew Smith