Equinor and ESB target Irish offshore

Irish utility ESB and Norwegian firm Equinor plan to jointly develop offshore wind sites and enter them into the country's renewable energy auctions from the mid-2020s.

Ireland's only offshore wind project is SSE Renewables' 25.2MW Arklow Bank site

An ESB spokesman told Windpower Monthly the partners’ strategy is to have the sites ready to enter tenders anticipated "from the mid-2020s to 2030 and beyond".

He added that while the companies do have a capacity target, they are currently "not in a position to make that number public".

ESB and Equinor will also look at the potential to complement offshore wind projects with energy storage and "other technologies". A spokesman said the partners would review and consider "any technology that promotes the smooth integration of offshore wind energy into Ireland’s energy system".

In its climate action plan published in June, the Irish government annnounced a national target of 3.5GW of offshore wind by 2030. It also plans to hold its first clean energy auction in the first half of the 2020s, but is yet to confirm a date.

ESB entered offshore wind in March 2018, by buying a 12.5% stake in the 353MW Galloper project off the east coast of England.

It is also developing the 330MW Oriel and 500MW Cloggerhead wind farms off the east coast of Ireland with Belgian developer Parkwind