A new offshore wind developer aims to commission 1GW of capacity in Irish waters by 2030.
Led by a former Ørsted executive, Inis Offshore Wind has identified five potential sites for assessment: two lie in the Irish Sea off Ireland’s east coast, two lie in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast and one is in the Celtic Sea, off the country’s south-west coast.
The two Irish Sea sites could each support 500MW of offshore wind capacity and could be online by 2030, Inis believes. It is believed that the total project pipeline could potentially support in excess of 4GW of capacity.
The developer currently plans to use fixed-bottom foundations, but has yet to decide on landfall options.
Investors – including Temporis Investment Management’s Temporis Aurora Fund, sovereign development fund Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (€50 million), AIB, Encavis and other European and US institutional investors – have pledged €126 million to the new developer.
Former Ørsted executive, Vanessa O’Connell, will head up Inis Offshore Wind. She said: “Our aim is to tap Ireland’s unparalleled offshore wind resource and in doing so enable a sustainable energy future for the people of Ireland, who will benefit directly from our success.”
An Inis spokesman said it was too early to say whether the developer would compete for an offtake agreement in Ireland’s second renewable energy support scheme (RESS2) auction, which is expected to include ring-fenced capacity for offshore wind. The auction is now expected to take place in the second quarter of 2022.