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Positioning to Develop Irish Offshore Wind Power Projects

Irish offshore wind energy projects
(Ocean Winds)

Published Apr 5, 2021 8:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts to expand the offshore wind energy sector are continuing to grow with additional programs designed to position for the development of wind projects off Ireland’s east coast. The joint venture company Ocean Winds set up between EDP Renewables and Engie announced that it is taking steps to position itself for the upcoming expansion of projects in Ireland.

“In June 2019, The Irish Government announced their Climate Action Plan, with a target of generating 70 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with at least 3.5GW of offshore wind.  In June this was increased to 5GW,” said Spyridon Martinis CEO of Ocean Winds. “In the neighboring U.K. market, OW will soon reach completion of the 950MW Moray East offshore wind farm, which was ground-breaking in terms of technology and cost. We look forward to the opportunity of working in Ireland and maximizing the potential of offshore wind technology in a new geography.”

To position for emerging opportunities as Ireland moves forward with the development of offshore wind fields, Ocean Winds has established Cailleach Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, a project delivery company that has submitted a Foreshore Application License Application to undertake site investigations for the potential development of an offshore wind farm 13 km from the shore at County Wicklow in Ireland.  

The proposed wind farm aims to take advantage of the offshore wind resource opportunity in the Irish Sea, off the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow. The surveys will enable OW to determine the ground conditions and ascertain the metocean conditions on-site which will feed into the future design of the wind farm. The timeline for the survey program is designed to ensure that the Cailleach Offshore Wind Farm is well-positioned to bid into upcoming offshore specific RESS auctions.

Cailleach is the first of several Irish sites which OW is examining, and the Foreshore License is required to enable preliminary site investigations to be undertaken, and development potential assessed.

Ocean Wind currently has a total of 1.5 GW of wind energy under construction with projects in the U.K., Belgium, and Portugal. The company is also in various stages of planning and development for an additional total of 4GW with projects in the U.K., France, U.S., Poland, and South Korea. The company plans on using a combination of fixed and floating wind farm technologies.