Clark Hill LLP announces the establishment of an Offshore Wind Practice group at its Dublin office.

The press release


The firm said the practice will advise clients in relation to the potential bottleneck involved in the consenting and planning process.

Kirby Tarrant, member in charge at Clark Hill Dublin, commented: “As an island nation buffeted by winds and the seas on all sides, we are uniquely placed to prosper and to become self-sufficient in energy. For successful implementation of the Climate Action Plan, a wide range of specialist legal support is necessary.”

Aidan Eames, consultant at Clark Hill, noted that offshore wind projects have a complex journey to conclusion, often taking up to ten years through consent, planning, survey, design, manufacture, and installation.

Eames stated: “With offshore turbines on the seabed, there are multiple stakeholder groups to be consulted including fisheries, heritage, ecology, military, telecommunications and government agencies. Developers will also have to work with the onshore communities through the complex consenting process for wind energy production.

“The consent and planning process is where the major bottleneck arises. At present there is a significant shortage of resources and personnel at An Bord Pleanála to deal with the anticipated surge in applications for planning consents under the new Marine Area Planning Act 2021.

“This could add up to two or three years to an already extended process for bringing these major offshore wind projects to completion.”

Dan Simon, a partner in the Clark Hill Washington DC office and member of the Offshore Wind Practice group, added: “Coastal communities and other stakeholders need to be consulted and buy into the offshore wind energy programme. There is a significant consultation process and community gain required in this area.

“Clark Hill is already in discussions with some of those communities and agencies to ensure the process goes smoothly. This helps understand all perspectives and identify potential objections before they arise, so that they can be addressed professionally, practically and with expedience.”