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Irish probe port potential

EXCLUSIVE: Offshore supply chain needs “critical investment” says GDG

Irish probe port potential image

The supply chain in Ireland needs “critical investment” if it is to play a role in the country’s future offshore wind industry, according to the early findings of a new report.

Dublin-based offshore engineering consultancy GDG has launched a so-called gap analysis with initial research pointing to the need for port and harbour “infrastructure upgrades” in the country.

The research, which is funded by the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland, will detail how well equipped the country’s supply chain is to service the “emerging offshore wind sector”.

The final report, which is due out later this year, is set to make technical recommendations for potential staging ports and will identify the best locations for operations and maintenance bases.

A purpose-built assembly and load-out facility will be required somewhere on the east coast to support offshore wind construction in the Irish Sea, according to developers. Up to 2.6GW of projects from counties Louth to Wicklow are consented.

The Irish government has signalled it will include offshore wind in the country’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.

A first RESS auction is due in 2019 with developers hopeful of an offshore-only round to help kick-start the sector.

This story was first reported in the latest issue of the subscriber-only newsletter reNEWS. For more exclusive news, features and analysis take a free trial of the leading renewable energy publication.

Image: Ireland's only offshore wind farm, the 25MW Arklow Bank project (NREL)

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