Ireland awards 3.1GW power deals in first offshore wind tender

Ireland has awarded provisional power deals for almost 3.1GW of capacity in its first offshore wind tender with developers Fred Olsen Seawind and EDF Renewables among the biggest winners.

SSE’s 25.2MW Arklow Bank project is Ireland’s only operational offshore wind farm to date

Auction regulator the Department of Climate, Environment and Communications stated that the tender had “surpassed expectations” with an average price of €86.05/MWh. The government claimed this was one of the lowest prices paid by an emerging offshore wind market worldwide. 

Under auction rules, the prices for each bid, including operations and maintenance costs, will be indexed for inflation at the time of a final investment decision being made. 

The Irish government explained that it aims to attract competitive energy projects to bid and provide energy at the lowest possible bid price over a 20-year period. 

Among the winning bids was RWE's Dublin Array project, a 824MW offshore wind farm planned for a location 10km off the coast of Dublin in the Irish Sea. A bid for the 1.3GW Codling Wind Park project co-owned by French utility EDF Renewables and Norwegian company Fred Olsen, which is also planned in the area, was also successful. 

The other winners included another Irish Sea project, the North Irish Sea Array or NISA, a 500MW wind farm proposed by Statkraft and CIP. 

Unlike the other successful bids, the 450MW Sceirde Rocks offshore wind farm is planned for waters off Ireland’s west coast in the Atlantic Ocean. That project is backed by renewables developer Corio Generation and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board. 

All four successful projects must now submit planning applications to An Bord Pleanála, an independent permitting authority in Ireland, for approval and must also finalise agreements to connect with the grid. 

The Irish government has a stated goal of reaching 80% of its energy demands from renewable sources like wind by 2030 and wants to fully decarbonise by 2050. 

The winners

Fred Olsen and EDF Renewables1300MW Codling Wind Park
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Statkraft500MW North Irish Sea Array (NISA)
Corio Generation and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board450MW Sceirde Rocks
RWE824MW Dublin Array