Offshore wind developer Parkwind and Irish utility ESB have reached an agreement to kick start the offshore wind generation industry in the Republic of Ireland through ESB’s acquisition of up to 35% of the Oriel project.
The Oriel project, located in the Irish Sea off the coast of Dundalk, has a capacity of up to 330 MW and is planning to begin commercial operations in the early-2020s.
Once operational, the Oriel windfarm will generate enough capacity to cover the needs of approximately 280,000 households – most of the population in counties Louth and Meath. It will also contribute to reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by 600,000 tonnes per annum.
Parkwind will continue to head the project from its Dublin offices in close collaboration with ESB.
ESB and Parkwind will also work together on the Clogherhead project for which ESB holds a foreshore license to commence site investigations.
Parkwind will acquire up to 35% of the Clogherhead project which is intended to be developed as a unique development, under a separate planning application.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD, said, “This announcement is a significant development for Ireland’s offshore wind industry.
“The project has the potential to deliver sustainable, clean offshore wind energy for 280,000 Irish families – equivalent to the needs of most of Louth and Meath.
“I am determined to make Ireland a leader in climate action. Renewable energy is critical to this ambition. With a sea area almost 10 times the size of its landmass, Ireland has very significant offshore wind capacity and this partnership is a testament to our potential in this area.”
Parkwind’s co-chief executive Francois Van Leeuw said Parkwind “is continuously looking for strategic partnerships when developing projects.
“This partnership is driven by the strategy of the company which is based on a long-term vision whereby we not only develop, but also operate our projects. A strong local partner such as ESB is the right match to further execute this strategy,” he said.
“Since its entry into the Oriel project, Parkwind has performed a lot of development activities, opened offices in Dublin and is today delighted to welcome ESB to the Oriel project team.”
ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said, “under our Brighter Future Strategy, ESB is completely transforming the way we generate electricity, replacing high carbon generation with low carbon and renewable alternatives.
“This announcement represents a significant investment by ESB in offshore wind, which we anticipate will account for the bulk of Ireland’s future zero carbon electricity.
“Our collaboration with internationally respected developers such as Parkwind in delivering the Oriel and Clogherhead projects underscores our commitment to further involvement in developing and constructing offshore windfarms in both Ireland and the UK.”
The Offshore Wind Journal Conference in London on 5 February 2019 will address key issues including global market developments, increasing turbine sizes, floating offshore wind and industry regulations. Book your place now.