Commencement of Maritime Area Consent (MAC) Regime

Ireland moves a step closer to energy independence

On the 21st March 2022, The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, announced the commencement of the Maritime Area Consent (MAC) Regime.

BlueWise Marine welcomes this provision in the legislation which ensures immediate progress can be made to harness Ireland’s vast offshore wind resources. Under this new regime the Minister can issue Maritime Area Consents (MACs) to renewable energy developers meeting the relevant assessment criteria. Developers are required to obtain a MAC to apply for planning permission. They must also include environmental assessments before applying to An Bord Pleanála.

The responsibility for the issuing of MACs will be taken over in 2023 by MARA (Maritime Area Regulatory Authority), Ireland’s new dedicated maritime agency for issuing consents for development-related activities and ensuring compliance with upcoming maritime planning

Minister Ryan invites applications from the first batch to be submitted in Q2 2022, with the first MACs expected to be issued in Q3 2022. The BlueWise Marine team are pleased to be supporting a number of clients who will be among the first applications of offshore wind projects for Maritime Area Consents listed below.

Phase 1 Projects (Qualified Offshore Renewable Energy Projects)

  • Oriel Wind Park
  • RWE (previously Innogy Renewables), (2 projects – Bray and Kish Banks)
  • Codling Wind Park (2 projects – Codling I and Codling II)
  • Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta (Skerd Rocks)
  • North Irish Sea Array Ltd (North Irish Sea Array)

What does this mean?

This development in legislation allows Ireland to harness our abundant offshore wind resources, make significant progress towards achieving our climate targets and take a step closer to attaining energy security.

Read the full Irish Government Press Release 21/03/2022 here.