Irish developer ESB has entered into a partnership with Equinor in Norway to identify suitable sites for offshore windfarms in Irish waters and work to mature potential future wind projects.
The potential for energy storage technology and other technologies to complement offshore wind operations will also be examined by the companies.
It is the ambition of the partners to explore opportunities for large-scale wind projects towards commercial operation by 2030, contributing to the wider goals of the Irish Government on energy transition.
The agreement also strengthens ESB’s commitment to the development of an offshore wind portfolio in the Irish market, building on a recent investment in the Galloper offshore windfarm in the UK and making an important contribution to ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy.
The company said the partnership will also support the Irish Government’s 2050 vision for a net zero carbon economy through fixed and floating offshore wind farms and enabling technologies.
ESB generation and trading executive director Jim Dollard said, “Through this partnership, we are demonstrating our commitment to creating a low-carbon future, powered by clean electricity.
“The delivery of offshore wind projects in Ireland further supports our strategy to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we generate.
“By collaborating with innovative, like-minded organisations such as Equinor we will play a leading role in the transition to a clean energy future. Equinor’s scale and capabilities making them an ideal long-term partner. Today’s announcement represents a significant commitment by ESB in offshore wind in Ireland.”
The Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan, published in June of this year, set a target of at least 3.5 GW of offshore wind for Ireland in the next decade.
Equinor new energy solutions senior vice president Jens Økland said, “We are looking forward to a strong collaboration with ESB, where we will jointly explore offshore wind opportunities in the Irish market.
“ESB brings local knowledge and expertise and in the ongoing energy transition and offshore wind can contribute as an important source of renewable energy.”