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Irish Sea Zone & Rhiannon Wind Farm

RES was appointed to provide resource and services to support the development of the 4.2GW Round 3 Irish Sea Zone. Prior to the award of the Zone, RES led on the preparation of the development and consenting aspects of the bid. Post award, RES provided all of the main development and engineering services.

Zonal Appraisal and Planning (ZAP)

The first stage of the development of the Zone was the preparation of a ZAP to identify the main development opportunities, taking account of the existing environment and human activities. RES managed the selection and management of the main EIA contractors, surveys and assessment, stakeholder engagement and preparation of the key project infrastructure options.

A key challenge during this phase related to the location of the Zone in the centre of the Irish Sea and need for robust consultation with key stakeholders in England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and, to some extent, the Republic of Ireland.

A technical assessment of geophysical, geotechnical and metocean data collected across the Zone, combined with the results of shipping, fishing, birds, marine mammal and seabed community surveys, desk based studies and consultation resulted in the identification of three Potential Development Areas with a combined maximum capacity of 4.2GW.

Rhiannon Offshore Wind Farm

With an estimated capacity of 2.2GW, Rhiannon Wind Farm was the first of the three Potential Development Areas to be taken forward within the Zone.

Key Activities managed by RES:

  • Refinement of the ZAP outputs to define the Rhiannon offshore development area and export cable corridor in addition to site selection for the onshore transmission assets;
  • Design and management of onshore and offshore EIA and HRA (and associated surveys) building on the data collected during the ZAP;
  • Preparation of an EIA Scoping Report and two Preliminary Environmental Information Reports (PEIR) and associated consultations;
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Management; and
  • RES acted as Owner’s Engineer supporting the Development Team with a dynamic Project Envelope to enable consent to be sought for a project with maximum flexibility in terms of infrastructure options. This included undertaking in-house, or managing sub-contractors in the preparation of all front-end engineering design workstreams. The key infrastructure options defined and considered under the EIA and HRA included 5 to 15 MW wind turbines, 69 to 73m gravity base foundations, Jacket & Monopile foundation solutions and a 450 km2 Export Cable Corridor between the Project and the north coast of the Isle of Anglesey.

The project was halted in 2014 due to complex ground conditions negating the economies of scale required to build out the project using the fixed bottom foundations available at that time.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you please contact Gero Vella, gero.vella@res-group.com .

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