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 CAP established a working group on the framework for offshore electricity grid, chaired by DCCAE. The CAP also directed EirGrid, as Transmission System Operator (TSO), to develop an Options Paper on offshore grid models. Eirgrid engaged consultants, Navigant, to prepare a report which together with this consultation will help inform this policy framework. The Navigant report has been provided alongside this consultation paper for information purposes only and is not intended for consultation.
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 paper 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. Further, though four models are outlined in the Navigant report underpinning this consultation, these models 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.
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
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
29-31 Adelaide Road
Deadline for the consultation: 5pm on Wednesday, 1 July 2020.
Transmission System Operator (TSO) is a European Commission term for an entity such as Eirgrid which operate independently from electricity market players and are responsible for the bulk transmission of electrical power on the main high voltage network.