Test Site foreshore lease awarded.
Posted: Monday, January 1, 2018

Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, has announced that the Marine Institute has been awarded a foreshore lease for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The test site located 1.5km off the coast of An Spidéal will allow for the deployment and testing of a range of prototype marine renewable energy devices, innovative marine technologies and novel sensors. The facility will also provide access to the SmartBay observatory allowing researchers and scientists to conduct research in the marine environment. The Marine Institute had operated a test site at the same location for eleven years until March 2017, generating a significant research knowledge base.

The test site will provide researchers and those involved in developing ocean energy devices with a world class leased area in which to safely test and demonstrate quarter-scale prototype ocean energy converters and related technologies. The Government recognises the opportunity that ocean energy offers in the National Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan and has, in line with EU Directive (2009/28/EC) set a target of 16% of energy from renewable sources across the electricity, heat and transport sectors by 2020.

Under the conditions of the lease, a maximum of three marine renewable energy test devices can be deployed at the test site at any time and will only be deployed for a maximum duration of 18 months, with the exception of any floating wind device which may only be deployed for a maximum of 12 months. The lease has been granted on the basis that there is no provision to export power from the test site to the National Grid. The Galway Bay test site will operate for up to 35 years, with devices on site intermittently throughout the year.

Further details can be found here.

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