SSE Renewables backs Meals on Wheels Covid response in Arklow and Wicklow

SSE Renewables, the leading energy company which is developing the next phase of Arklow Bank Wind Park off the Wicklow coast, has supported the county’s Covid-19 response by donating €10,000 to Meals on Wheels groups in Arklow and Wicklow Town.

A much-needed donation of €5,000 has been presented by SSE Renewables to each of the volunteer-led groups, in support of their increased service provision during the lockdown restrictions. Meals on Wheels groups in Arklow and Wicklow Town have seen a significant increase in demand for the delivery of freshly-cooked meals by their volunteers to the homes of their regular service users as well as new users who are cocooning.

Meals on Wheels was selected as a beneficiary by the Project Team at SSE Renewables working on Arklow Bank Wind Park due to the vital role it has played for communities in Arklow and Wicklow during the restrictions.

Arklow Bank Project Manager James O’Hara said:

“Community and voluntary groups such as Meals on Wheels have been at the heart of communities responding to the needs of the most vulnerable from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. When their service demand increased, they dug deeper and have ramped up their efforts to ensure that those who need support most, receive it at this extremely difficult time.

“We believe that SSE Renewables and Arklow Bank Wind Park has a role to play in supporting these efforts and we are delighted to make funding available to both the Arklow and Wicklow Meals on Wheels operations. We hope that it will play a part in reducing the impact of the pandemic on both the dedicated volunteers and the service users.”

Hilary Sharpe, Arklow Meals on Wheels said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding which makes a huge difference to our weekly service which has increased to seven days during the Covid-19 emergency. It is vital that the most vulnerable in our society are supported during this difficult and worrying time and support for our service translates to support for our valued service users.”

Rose Behan, Wicklow Meals on Wheels said:

“Donations such as this from SSE Renewables are vital for our service which has increased in response to Covid-19. They enable us to continue to provide free meals to service users which we have pledged to do from May 1 to September 1, 2020.”

SSE Renewables is developing Phase 2 of the Arklow Bank Wind Park project, which has a consent to deliver 520MW of offshore wind energy and will be capable of powering over half a million homes with green power annually. The company expects to invest more than €1 billion in the delivery of the project, which is set to become Ireland’s first large-scale offshore wind park.

Development of the next phase of Arklow Bank Wind Park is significantly progressed and is targeting a delivery date of 2025, which means it will play a crucial role in meeting the Government’s interim target of 1GW of offshore wind capacity in that same year as set out in the Climate Action Plan. Once operational, the wind park will be capable of offsetting over 650,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, delivering a 1% reduction in Ireland’s annual carbon emissions.

Once operational, Arklow Bank Wind Park will sustain around 80 jobs at an onshore operations and maintenance (O&M) base, the preferred location for which at Arklow Harbour was recently announced by SSE Renewables.

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