Shell partners with Simply Blue Energy to develop Irish floating wind project

offshore wind
Image by David Will from Pixabay

Shell has signed an agreement with Irish developer Simply Blue Energy to acquire a 51% share of their Simply Blue Energy Kinsale venture, which was set up to develop the Emerald Project floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland.

The joint venture will be operated by Simply Blue Energy supported by Shell floating wind experts. The project office is based in the Cork City Docklands rejuvenation area.

Read more about floating wind

The Emerald Project is located in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas fields, which are currently being decommissioned, and will use state-of-the-art renewable floating wind-powered generators.

The project is in the early stages and aims to exploit the vast floating wind potential in the Irish part of the Celtic Sea.

Shell engineers, credit: Shell

300MW of installed capacity is planned initially, with the potential to scale-up to a total installed capacity of 1GW. This is equivalent to powering 800,000 Irish homes or the capacity of the Moneypoint power station, Ireland’s largest electricity generation station.

This “stepping-stone” approach is designed to build the infrastructure necessary to deliver a project of this scale and ultimately enable Ireland to increase its energy independence, while also reducing emissions.

Floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines, allowing this project to be placed 35km ” 60km offshore, reducing visual impacts.

Read more about Shell’s energy transition efforts

Depending on the size of turbines selected, the first phase of the project will include between 15 and 25 turbines. The assembly, installation and deployment of these turbines could stimulate hundreds of immediate and long-term, high-quality jobs in the local supply chain.

Sam Roch-Perks, CEO of Simply Blue Energy said: “Floating wind energy is a major opportunity for Ireland to become a ‘Green Gulf’ by realising the benefits of its vast marine and offshore wind resources without negatively impacting our beautiful coastlines. Simply Blue Energy is delighted to work with Shell to further our portfolio of floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. Our shared vision for Emerald is to do the right thing for our stakeholders, the community and the environment. This announcement represents an important milestone in the ability of the Emerald project to ensure the government meets its climate target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.”

Colin Crooks, VP offshore wind, Shell said: “At Shell we aim to build an integrated power business spanning electricity generation, trading and supply. This project could provide green power to consumers and businesses alike and contribute towards Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050, or sooner. Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success and this is why we have chosen and look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy who are rooted in the local community.”

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