ESB and Ørsted Partner for Offshore Wind Project in Ireland


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ESB, a leading Irish energy company, and Ørsted, a pioneer in offshore wind projects, have officially signed an agreement to partner and develop an offshore wind portfolio in Ireland.

The announcement was made on June 2, 2023, by Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Simon Coveney TD, Jim Dollard from ESB, and Ørsted’s Head of UK and Ireland, Duncan Clark, at Cork Chamber’s Fitzgerald House,

This historic agreement makes Ørsted a 50/50 partner in a series of offshore wind projects along the Irish coast, making it one of the grandest collaborations in Ireland to date. The joint effort has the potential to generate up to 5 GW of renewable energy, including complementary projects involving renewable hydrogen. The initial offshore wind projects are expected to be part of the upcoming Irish offshore wind auction, ORESS 2.1.

Since Ireland’s maritime area exceeds its landmass by ten times, it is ideally positioned for offshore projects to facilitate decarbonizing the Irish electricity system and increase future renewable energy exports to Europe.

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The partnership also includes a commitment to explore opportunities for renewable hydrogen production in the long term. The project’s ultimate objective is to support Ireland’s transition to a net-zero economy while achieving the Irish government’s target of installing 7 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Commenting on the partnership, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Simon Coveney TD, said, “The Irish Government is committed to developing a strong offshore wind sector, which will provide us with abundant clean and secure renewable energy. We’ve signed into law an ambitious Climate Action Plan, which includes a 5 GW offshore wind target by 2030 with a target to generate 80 % of our electricity from renewable sources. This will be further supported by a National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind from my department. Today’s announcement is a strong vote of confidence in Ireland’s sustainable future and an important milestone in building a new, indigenous energy system, which is both secure, affordable, and clean.”

Jim Dollard, ESB Executive Director, Generation & Trading, noted,“In recent years, ESB has amassed considerable expertise in offshore wind, partnering with leading energy companies in projects of scale and building a significant offshore footprint across Ireland and Great Britain.ESB is developing a large renewables pipeline, and as part of that has developed a strong portfolio of offshore wind projects around the coasts of Ireland. We are delighted to partner with Ørsted, a global leader in the offshore wind industry, in developing this portfolio in Ireland. Offshore wind in Ireland will play a key part in the delivery of the ESB Strategy, Driven to Make A Difference – Net Zero by 2040 and the announcement of this partnership with Ørsted is an important step in that journey.”

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Duncan Clark, Senior Vice President and Head of UK and Ireland at Ørsted, added, “With a strong Irish onshore portfolio already in place, we are delighted to begin our journey in the Irish offshore market with ESB; the company that brought electricity to Ireland, and that today plays a leading role in the path to net-zero.This partnership combines complementary strengths relevant to development in this market and creates an ideal platform for Ørsted to bring its global expertise in the delivery of offshore wind to bear in Ireland. From the world’s first offshore turbine in Denmark in 1991 to the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2 in the UK, Ørsted has been a driving force behind the commercialisation of the offshore wind industry across Europe, Asia, and America as part of our vision to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.”

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