The terms and conditions for the first offshore wind auction under the existing Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) were approved and published by the Irish Government on 9 November 2022.
The publication of the terms and conditions is the first step in the scheme designed to promote investment in renewable energy generated offshore in Ireland. The first auction, referred to as ORESS 1, is expected to provide a route to market for enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 2.5 million Irish homes.
During the pre-qualification stage, which is due to launch in December 2022, energy and project developers will apply to bid against each other, with the final qualification stage and auction process to take place in the first half of 2023. Successful bidders will be awarded State support under RESS. In exchange, developers will be required to make financial contributions to the local hosting community through a community benefit fund. Contributions start from the construction phase and continue for the duration of the support period, which on average could be for a period of 25 years.
Commenting on the approval Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, said:
"The publication of these ORESS 1 Terms and Conditions is another massive step forward – for offshore wind, for Irish climate leadership and towards Ireland’s future as an international green energy hub.”
EirGrid is expected to publish the final ORESS1 calendar shortly, with the auction results to follow by June 2023. Projects that have been awarded a Maritime Area Consent are eligible to participate in the ORESS 1 auction. The publication of the terms and conditions is welcomed across the sector and is a significant first step in securing Ireland’s clean energy independence into the future.
For more information in respect of eligibility to partake in the auction, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Energy and Natural Resources team.
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