Date: 21 Mar 2022 Minister Eamon Ryan has announced the launch of the Maritime Area Consent (MAC) Regime. The new regime enables the Minister, on an interim basis, to issue Maritime Area Consents (MACs) to renewable energy developers who meet the relevant assessment criteria. Developers must have a Maritime Area Consent to make an application for permission, to include environmental assessments, to An Bord Pleanála. Offshore wind farms are necessary for Ireland to achieve its climate targets and reduce its dependence on imported fuel such as gas and oil. One of the actions of the Climate Action Plan 2021 strives to ‘Facilitate the development of offshore wind, including the connection of at least 5 GW of offshore wind, based on competitive auctions, to the grid by 2030’. The Irish Sea projects are: Oriel Wind Park off Co Louth; Two wind farms proposed by RWE at Bray and Kish Banks off Co Dublin, Two wind farms due to be built by Codling Wind Park off Co Wicklow Development by North Irish Sea Array Ltd off Co Meath and north Dublin. The Atlantic Ocean Project is: Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta off Connemara, Co Galway. Applications will be assessed in key areas, including financial and technical capability. The first consents are expected to be issued in the second half of 2022. In early 2023, responsibility for MACs, including those granted by Minister Ryan will be handed over to MARA (Maritime Area Regulatory Authority). For more information read HERE.