Oriel Windfarm has commenced investigative works on the future offshore windfarm site off the coast of Dundalk following the granting of a license by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The surveys are timely. The Government’s Climate Action Plan, published this week, set a target of 3.5GW of offshore wind for Ireland in the next decade, which will help renewables account for 70 percent of electricity generation by 2030.
The investigations will record specific wind data of the offshore site and data on the seabed conditions of the future site, needed mainly for the engineering design of the foundations for the wind turbines.
The investigation works are scheduled to commence in August this year in close dialogue with the relevant stakeholders and the local community.
Peter Caluwaerts, project director, states: “The license to commence two important surveys marks another significant milestone in the Oriel Project. This allows us to add wind data gathering and soil data surveys to our already ongoing ecological surveys on the site. A buoy containing equipment that will measure the specific wind data of the Oriel offshore site for a year will be deployed in August this year. The soil investigation campaign is also due to start in August.
“The Climate Action Plan that came out earlier this week clearly highlights the need to advance on these works. With the support of our dedicated main shareholders Parkwind and ESB, it is our ambition to make Oriel Windfarm the first large scale offshore wind farm in Ireland, thus contributing to the wider goals of the Irish Government on energy transition.”
About Oriel Windfarm
The Oriel offshore wind farm is in the development stage and is located approximately 22km off the coast of Dundalk. It represents a significant investment in the decarbonisation of the Irish electricity system and represents a significant investment from both ESB and Parkwind. Development of the project began in 2003 and the original investors, many of whom are local to the area, secured an experienced and responsible development partner when Parkwind entered the project in September 2017. The addition of ESB to the joint venture further reinforces the parties commitment to successfully delivering this major investment in Ireland’s sustainable future.
Parkwind, established in 2012, is a 360 degree company that develops, finances, builds and operates offshore wind farms. With 552MW under operational management, 219MW under construction and 577MW under development, it has become one of Europe’s industry leaders. Ireland is to become the second largest market for Parkwind after Belgium. In addition to these two markets Parkwind’s expanding international presence includes significant projects in Germany and France.
Parkwind is composed of over 90 professionals operating from its offices in Belgium and Ireland.
Parkwind wants to contribute to the European climate and energy policy by combining all offshore wind energy activities of its key Belgian shareholders: the Colruyt Group, Korys and PMV.
Established in 1927, ESB operates right across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Electricity Networks), with a combined Networks Regulated Asset Base of €9.6bn. In 2018 it had a 38% share of generation in the all-island market (ESB Generation and Wholesale Markets) and a 33% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (Electric Ireland) with 1.25 million customer accounts.
ESB is a leading developer of renewable power projects in both the UK and Ireland and in 2018, it acquired a 12.5 per cent stake in Galloper offshore wind farm.
ESB contributes almost €2 billion annually to the Irish economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs. ESB provides significant employment both directly, with over 7,790 employees, and indirectly through contractors and service providers.