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Back to Press Releases 21 November 2019

ESB and Equinor announce partnership to deliver potential offshore wind projects

ESB is pleased to announce today (Thursday, 21 November) that it has entered into a partnership with Equinor, a Norwegian-based energy company.
The partnership will work to identify suitable sites for new offshore windfarms in Irish waters and work to mature potential future wind projects. The potential for energy storage technology and other technologies to complement offshore wind operations will also be examined.
It is the ambition of the partnership to explore opportunities for large scale wind projects towards commercial operation by 2030, thus contributing to the wider goals of the Irish Government on energy transition. Furthermore, this agreement strengthens ESB’s commitment to the development of an offshore wind portfolio in the Irish market, building on a recent investment in the Galloper offshore windfarm in the UK and making an important contribution to ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy. This partnership will also support the Government’s 2050 vision for a net zero carbon economy through fixed and floating offshore wind farms and enabling technologies.
The partnership is founded on a long-term vision held by both participants to develop well-designed offshore wind projects of scale, taking into account the needs and interests of key stakeholders.
Equinor has significant global experience in the development and operation of offshore wind energy projects which complement ESB’s existing expertise and experience of developing and operating generation projects in the Irish and UK market.
Welcoming the partnership, ESB Generation and Trading Executive Director Jim Dollard, says: “Through this partnership, we are demonstrating our commitment to creating a low-carbon future, powered by clean electricity. The delivery of offshore wind projects in Ireland further supports our strategy to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we generate. By collaborating with innovative, like-minded organisations such as Equinor we will play a leading role in the transition to a clean energy future. Equinor’s scale and capabilities making them an ideal long-term partner. Today’s announcement represents a significant commitment by ESB in offshore wind in Ireland.”
The initiation of this partnership is timely. The Government’s Climate Action Plan, published in June of this year, set a target to have at least 3.5GW of offshore wind for Ireland in the next decade, which will help renewables account for 70 percent of electricity generation by 2030. With a sea area almost 10 times the size of its landmass, Ireland has very significant offshore wind capacity.
With a sea area almost 10 times the size of its landmass, Ireland has very significant offshore wind capacity.  
“We are looking forward to a strong collaboration with ESB, where we will jointly explore offshore wind opportunities in the Irish market.  ESB brings local knowledge and expertise and in the ongoing energy transition offshore wind can contribute as an important source of renewable providing energy to people and progress to society,” says Senior Vice President for business development in New Energy Solutions, Equinor Jens O. Økland. 

Photo attached, caption as follows: Pictured is Jim Dollard ESB Generation and Trading Executive Director  with Jens O. Økland, SVP for business development in New Energy Solutions, Equinor.

Media Queries: Paul Hand, 085 7256798
About Equinor 

Equinor is developing as a broad energy company, building a material position in renewable energy. Equinor now powers more than one million European homes with renewable offshore wind from four offshore wind farms in the United Kingdom and Germany. Equinor is building material offshore wind clusters in the UK, the US North East and in the Baltics. The company commissioned the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in 2017 off the coast of Scotland and is positioned for future floating wind options in several geographies, including UK, Norway and Asia.
About ESB
ESB operates across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence in the British generation market. In addition, we extract further value through supplying gas, energy services and using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (via ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (via Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd).  In H1 2019 it had a 32% share of generation in the all-island market (via ESB Generation and Trading) and a 33% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.3 million customer accounts.