Ireland has ambitious climate targets towards 2030, including a target to develop at least 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy, as published in the Climate Action Plan (CAP) in June 2019. To meet these targets Government has to put in place a policy framework for the delivery model for offshore grid in alignment with National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF).
The Working group established by CAP directed EirGrid, as Transmission System Operator (TSO), to develop an Options Paper on offshore grid models has been provided alongside the Consultation Paper which is not intended to provide a decision on the best available option, but rather to present evidence that informs the decision for a grid delivery model suitable for offshore wind development in Ireland. The four models outlined in the Navigant report underpinning this consultation, were chosen purely as examples to explore the advantages and disadvantages, from the various stakeholder perspectives, of the various approaches available. The ultimate choice of grid delivery model will come from any point along the full spectrum of options available, informed by careful consideration of the key drivers in the Irish context.
Based on the policy framework ultimately selected by Government, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) will similarly consult and decide on a regulatory framework for offshore wind.
It is important that a timely decision is made to determine which grid delivery model will be adopted in Ireland, to ensure preparations for this model can commence in time such that the 2030 renewable targets are achievable. The consultation will close at 5pm on Wednesday, 1 July 2020.
Responses to this consultation should be marked 'Offshore Grid Delivery Model Option Consultation – Name of Respondent' and sent to OffshoreWind@dccae.gov.ie
Alternatively, submissions may also be made in writing to: Offshore Wind Grid Development Consultation, Energy Division, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, D02 X285