Atkins has been appointed by Údarás Na Gaeltachta to develop a masterplan for an offshore wind energy hub on the site of the existing Ros a Mhíl harbour centre in County Galway.
The hub would service the needs of both floating and fixed wind developments off the west coast of Ireland, potentially providing vital supporting infrastructure to build more renewable energy in the region and accelerate Ireland’s commitments to build at least 30GW of offshore floating wind power off the Atlantic coast by 2050.
Atkins’ masterplan will involve planning the port development, carrying out an economic assessment, detailing the engineering and logistical requirements and the development of a high-level energy masterplan which will set out a vision for achieving net zero operations at the port.
The masterplan will also consider the surrounding environment, existing infrastructure and local community needs arising from the introduction of this industry to the local area.
The hub, which will be developed in tandem with the fishing port and the local leisure marina, will act as a strategic hub to service the region’s flourishing offshore wind industry, with the capacity to serve both floating and fixed wind technologies. It is estimated that the hub will directly create 900 jobs in the local region.
Údarás CEO, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh said: “The development of Ros an Mhíl as an offshore wind energy hub is likely to have a profound impact, not just on the economy of the Gaeltacht regions of Conamara and the Aran Islands, but also on Ireland’s ability to lessen its energy dependence.”
Brian McKavanagh, technical director at Atkins said: “This is an extremely important project for both the Connemara Gaeltacht and Ireland’s net zero transition. We look forward to working with Údarás na Gaeltachta as they seek to develop strategies for the region to benefit from low carbon technologies and developments.”
Christopher Kilsby, offshore & renewables market lead, Atkins, said: “Offshore wind is a vital component of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan and the development of supporting infrastructure will be critical to realise Ireland’s renewable targets. Atkins will bring our global experience in green ports and offshore wind to support this truly sustainable investment.”
In recognition of the Gaeltacht status of the area, Atkins has brought onboard Irish-speaking engineers from the area as core members of the project team. Working from its Galway offices they will help deliver the masterplan and engage with local stakeholders alongside the wider project team.