Parkwind and ESB to develop two offshore wind farms at Oriel and Clogherhead

  • Potential generation capacity at Oriel Wind Farm to meet the needs of most of the population in Louth and Meath - 280,000 families
  • Highly complementary partnership between Parkwind, an experienced offshore operator, and ESB, which has significant experience in the delivery of major engineering projects in Ireland

Dublin, 22 January 2019

Parkwind and ESB have reached an agreement to kick start the offshore wind generation industry in the Republic of Ireland through ESB’s acquisition of up to 35 per cent in the Oriel project.

The Oriel project, located in the Irish Sea off the coast of Dundalk, has a capacity of up to 330MW and is planned to begin commercial operations in the early-2020s.  

Once operational, the Oriel Windfarm will generate enough capacity to cover the needs of approximately 280,000 households - most of the population in counties Louth and Meath. Oriel will furthermore contribute to the reduction of Ireland’s carbon emissions by 600,000 tonnes per annum.

Parkwind, one of Europe’s offshore wind leading companies, will continue to head the project from its Dublin offices in close collaboration with ESB.

ESB and Parkwind will also work together on the Clogherhead project for which ESB holds a foreshore license to commence site investigations. Parkwind will acquire up to 35 per cent of the Clogherhead project which is intended to be developed as a unique development, under a separate planning application.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD, who is meeting with senior ESB and Parkwind representatives this afternoon, commented: 

“Today’s announcement is a significant development for Ireland’s offshore wind industry. This project has the potential to deliver sustainable, clean offshore wind energy for 280,000 Irish families – equivalent to the needs of most of Louth and Meath. I am determined to make Ireland a leader in climate action. Renewable energy is critical to this ambition. With a sea area almost ten times the size of its landmass, Ireland has very significant offshore wind capacity and this partnership is a testament to our potential in this area.”

Parkwind’s co-CEO Francois Van Leeuw stated: “Parkwind is continuously looking for strategic partnerships when developing projects. This partnership is driven by the strategy of the company which is based on a long-term vision whereby we  not only develop, but also operate our projects. A strong local partner such as ESB is the right match to further execute this strategy. Since its entry into the Oriel project, Parkwind has performed a lot of development activities, opened offices in Dublin and is today delighted to welcome ESB to the Oriel project team. We look forward to working with ESB and local stakeholders in making the Oriel and the Clogherhead projects a success.”

ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty added: “Under our Brighter Future Strategy, ESB is completely transforming the way we generate electricity, replacing high carbon generation with low carbon and renewable alternatives.  Today’s announcement represents a significant investment by ESB in offshore wind, which we anticipate will account for the bulk of Ireland’s future zero carbon electricity.  Our collaboration  with internationally respected developers such as Parkwind in the delivery of the Oriel and Clogherhead projects underscores our commitment to further involvement in the development and construction of offshore wind farms in both Ireland and the UK.”

ENDS/

About Parkwind

Parkwind, established in 2012, is a 360 degree company that develops, finances, builds and operates offshore wind farms. With 552MW under operational management, 224MW under construction and 577MW under development, it has become one of Europe’s industry leaders.  The combination of the Oriel project and Clogherhead project will make Ireland 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.

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 Great Britain 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 2017 it had a 42% share of generation in the all-island market (via Generation and Wholesale Markets) and a 34% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.4 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.

About Oriel Offshore Wind Farm

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.