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Echelon DC to fund substation for Irish wind farm

Ireland, Arklow: SSE’s 500MW Arklow Bank Wind Park gets a land connection and a 100 MW customer

Wholesale data centre developer Echelon Data Centers has agreed to fund a 220kV substation which will connect to a planned giant wind farm off the east coast of Ireland.

The substation, at Avoca River Business Park, will draw power from the 520 MW Arklow Bank Wind Farm Phase 2, which SSE Renewables proposes to build. The substation will connect the wind farm into the Irish grid – as well as powering Echelon’s 100 MW DUB20 data center which is also under development.

“This collaboration between renewable energy and tech will ensure that key decarbonization targets contained in the Climate Action Plan are met and is a model which could be rolled out in other communities across the country,” said the Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martinbeing.

Arklow Bank Phase 1, which is owned and operated by GE Wind Energy, is Ireland’s first and only operating offshore wind farm, and the first in the world to use turbines greater than 3 MW. Phase 2 is planned to be more than 20 times as large, at 520 MW. SSE says in its public consultation that it plans to invest between $1.2 B and $2.4 B and create 80 jobs, while enabling part of Ireland’s plan to decarbonize. The new phase is expected to have an export capacity of 520 MW and will power Echelon’s DUB20 (Arklow) 100 MW data center.

The substation, costing around $7 M will be built by SSE to serve the data center and business park as well as the grid.

Barry Kilcline, director of developments at SSE Renewables, said: “This is a major innovation for the integration of renewables and data centers into Ireland’s national grid. Through this landmark agreement with Echelon Data Centers, we will develop the new shared grid infrastructure at Arklow that will facilitate the development of the next phase of the 520 MW Arklow Bank Wind Park. We are on track to help meet the Government’s 2025 target of 1 GW of offshore wind, and to enable the connection of Echelon’s planned data center for South Wicklow.”


Source: Data Center Dynamics Ltd