Evolution

The North Irish Sea Array or NISA was first mooted in 2009 by a company called Gaelectric. That company carried out a number of studies and made an application to the Department for a foreshore site investigation licence which was granted in February 2012. However, Gaelectric did not advance the project from that point.

Statkraft is now taking this work forward and looking to develop the proposal. The project has moved on from advanced concept design, and surveys, consultations and assessments will be carried out over the next year, to inform the content of a planning application submission for the project.

We have already started to engage with those who work in fisheries in order to inform our initial consideration of how this proposal might work best. We have listened to their views and we are endeavouring to incorporate their feedback in our design proposal in order to minimise any impacts on commercial fishing and maximise the capture all opportunities for benefits for the fishing community. These discussions have influenced our initial design concept which has reduced the number of turbines and the potential visual impacts (See further information on the Pod Concept page)

As we gather more information our proposals will be further refined.

Survey Effort Overview

With geophysical surveys due to commence shortly, NISA has reached a critical milestone in its development. The surveys planned will provide information which will allow the project to develop a detailed understanding of the sea bed conditions which will inform the design of the project. These surveys are due to start towards the end of May 2022 and will continue throughout June. For more information, please see Marine Notice No. 27 of 2022 through the button below.

Surveys will be subject to weather conditions and a vessel called the Mercator will use various technologies to analyse the sea-bed such as multibeam echosounders, side scan sonars, magnetometers and sub-bottom profiling. The data will be used to inform indicative turbine location and potential cable corridors. The NISA project was granted a Foreshore Licence earlier this year which allows it to gather information and undertake preliminary site investigations to understand the conditions.

Statkraft has engaged an extremely experienced survey contractor to carry out these surveys, particularly in terms of carrying out surveys whilst sharing this marine space with the existing fishing operations. Throughout the surveys, Statkraft will continue to engage all those interested in the local and surrounding communities in the area. This includes extensive engagement with local fishing groups in Howth, Clogherhead, Skerries, Balbriggan, and surrounding areas.

From the earliest stages of this project, Statkraft has been committed to developing a project which would deliver successful coexistence with fisheries and support a sustainable local fishing community. During these surveys it will continue to work proactively towards this goal and promote continued sustainable fishing in the area.

If anyone has any queries please get in touch through our Contact Page.