SSE Renewables has selected Arklow Harbour as the preferred location to host the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for its planned 520 MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 offshore wind farm. The new base location at Arklow Harbour’s South Dock is expected to house up to 80 full-time employees, who will support O&M of the wind farm. The facility will feature purpose-built office and warehouse buildings as well as quayside berthing for up to four crew transfer vessels. SSE Renewables has entered into land option agreements at Arklow’s South Dock to progress the development. These include an option to purchase an industrial yard which forms part of the site known locally as "The Old Shipyard" on the harbour’s South Dock for the development of offices and warehousing. The company has also entered into option agreements to "step into" two existing lease agreements with Wicklow County Council for adjoining industrial land, which also forms part of "The Old Shipyard" site, as well as a quayside area at the South Dock for vessel berthing and pontoons. Cllr Irene Winters, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, said: “SSE Renewables’ announcement is a great vote of confidence for County Wicklow. This project will place Ireland well on its way towards achieving its objective of generating 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. It provides great opportunities to build on County Wicklow’s maritime traditions by providing skilled employment opportunities, skills transfer, training and development, and spin off investment for both Wicklow and Arklow. This places us well on our way towards achieving our goal of developing County Wicklow as a Centre of Excellence for the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector.” Barry Kilcline, Director of Development at SSE Renewables, said: “We are delighted to confirm Arklow Harbour as the new home for our Operations and Maintenance Base for Arklow Bank Wind Park. The new base will play a vital role in the day-to-day running of the planned offshore wind farm. Around 80 full-time employees will be recruited in the coming years to work out of the base to operate and maintain the wind farm, ensuring we safely and reliably generate renewable energy to power half a million homes daily and meet Ireland’s carbon reduction targets." SSEs Arklow Bank lease area is situated 13 km off the Co. Wicklow coastline, to the east of Arklow, and covers an area approximately 27 km long and 2.5k m wide. Phase One consists of seven turbines, with an overall capacity of 25.2 MW. It started operations in 2004. SSE anticipates that Arklow Bank Phase 2 will commence operations in 2025 and power around half a million homes each year with green energy. For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.