The Irish Wind Energy sector is at a crossroads after a decade of much activity. The comfort of REFIT supports is over, the certainty of the Gate grid connection process is nearly past, and new market and regulatory challenges lie ahead in the forms of ECP and RESS. Despite these changing circumstances, one constant remains: planning is key. Securing the right planning permission on the right site unlocks the door to a successful wind farm project.
With wind developers now having to focus on the future I-SEM energy market and everyone chasing LCOE, securing the right planning permission is more important than ever. Turbine sizes, site optimisation and meaningful community consultation and stakeholder engagement will separate the successful projects from the unsuccessful in the years to come. Older operational projects will also soon have to deal with re-powering, and the new challenges that will present in the context of new Wind Energy Planning Guidelines and a more rigorous planning process than when the sites were first consented.
MKO has been at the cutting edge of the Irish wind energy planning for the last decade, having provided advice on over 1GW of onshore wind projects, successfully delivered hundreds of megawatts of projects through the planning system, and seeing more than a dozen projects right the way through to construction to commercial operation. Our in-depth industry insight, has proved invaluable to our clients, and we intend to stay at the cutting edge in years to come by continuing to provide the best advice to our clients to help them maximise the potential of their project pipeline.