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ESB and Renewable Energy

ESB’s 2040 strategy Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 sets out a clear roadmap for ESB to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. 

We will develop and connect renewable energy to decarbonise the electricity system by 2040. We will invest in the development of new renewable generation, including onshore and offshore wind and solar, and will significantly increase in the amount of renewable generation connected to our electricity networks. 

We will:

  • Deliver more than a fivefold increase in our renewable generation portfolio to 5,000MW.
  • Reduce carbon intensity of generation fleet from 414 to 140gCO2/kWh by 2030.
  • Decarbonise 63% of our generation output by 2030 and 100% by 2040 (up from c20% now).

Our Current Onshore Wind Projects

At ESB, we believe in the power of wind energy and the potential it has to help deliver a net zero future for society.  From our first 5MW wind farm in Crockahenny, Co Donegal in 1998 we have developed an onshore wind asset portfolio that has the capacity to supply 1GW of clean energy to the homes, farms, hospitals, schools, and businesses throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. Take a look at our asset map here for more information on all our wind farm sites across Ireland and the UK. 

Developing Oweninny Wind Farm in Co Mayo video
Developing Oweninny Wind Farm in Co Mayo

In late 2019, ESB and Bord na Mona completed phase one of Oweninny Wind Farm in Co Mayo with 89MW. Work is now in progress for phase two of the project, adding 83MW to Ireland's renewable asset portfolio.

ESB and Coillte develop 1GW of onshore wind

The Coillte-ESB joint venture, FuturEnergy Ireland, is looking to actively drive Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy by developing 1GW of wind energy projects by 2030, enough to power more than 500,000 homes.

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Developing 400MW of onshore wind in Scotland and Wales

We are continuing to develop a pipeline of onshore wind assets in Scotland and Wales through our partnership with Coriolis Energy, a leading independent wind energy developer.

Battery Storage

Our aim is to develop a pipeline of projects to deliver large scale batteries, as well as additional flexible enabling technologies. This is crucial to supporting the grid and will facilitate ever more onshore wind, offshore wind and solar onto the electricity system in the coming decades. 

New Aghada battery plant provides 19MW of fast acting storage

We recently launched a new battery plant at our Aghada site in Co Cork, adding 19MW (38MWh) of fast-acting energy storage to help provide grid stability and deliver more renewables on Ireland’s electricity system. A second battery - also 19MW - is currently under construction.

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Inchicore Battery Energy Storage Systems to deliver 60 MWh

Our new battery system - which will go live in Q1 2024 - will deliver 60MWh of storage, marking another step on the company’s low carbon transition journey, and in doing so, help us lead in the delivery of our national climate obligations.

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Hydrogen 

We recognise that hydrogen produced from renewable electricity will play a significant role in the decarbonisation of many sectors, including transport. To that end, we plan to use our existing capabilities and future renewable growth to become a leading player in large scale renewable hydrogen production, thereby enabling renewable electricity, in the form of electrons or green modules, to meet the energy requirements of Ireland’s future zero carbon economy.

ESB and dCarbonX work together on development of offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage

The joint venture focuses on three green hydrogen storage opportunities based around proposed decarbonisation clusters – east of Dublin’s Poolbeg, west of ESB’s Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project supporting the Shannon Estuary cluster and south of Aghada in Cork (Project Kestrel).

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Hydrogen as part of Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint Project

As part of the transformation of our County Clare site, we plan to invest in a green hydrogen production, storage and generation facility at Moneypoint towards the end of the decade.

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ESB and The Shannon Group collaborate on Lighthouse Project

We have signed a MOU with The Shannon Airport Group to explore the development of a sustainable green hydrogen plant to demonstrate the use of hydrogen in aviation, heavy goods transport and industry and as a lighthouse model for the net zero integrated energy system of the future.

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Offshore Wind

At ESB we know the importance of offshore wind in tackling climate change and delivering net zero. Ireland has a unique capability given its prime location to take advantage of the potential of offshore wind. We are working hard to develop offshore wind projects for the benefit of everyone across society in Ireland and the UK. This includes ongoing engagement with marine users and local communities so we can deliver these significant projects. These projects include:

 

  • Sea Stacks Offshore Wind – Located approximately 12km off the coast of south Dublin and north Wicklow. In November 2022, ESB held public exhibitions for local communities to provide the latest information on the project.
  • Celtic Offshore Wind – Phase one of the project will be located 8km offshore to the east of Cork and the south of Waterford. The virtual public consultation room for the project closed on 8th August 2022. ESB will hold public exhibitions for local communities to provide the latest information on the project in December 2022.
  • Helvick Head Offshore Wind – Located approximately 10km southeast of Helvick Head off the Waterford coast. The virtual public consultation room for the project closed on 29th July 2022. ESB will hold public exhibitions for local communities to provide the latest information on the project in November and December 2022.
  • Loch Garman Offshore Wind – Located approximately 10km off the Wexford coast. The virtual public consultation room for the project closed on 5th September 2022.
  • Moneypoint Offshore Wind – Located off the West Coast of Ireland. This project will be ESB’s flagship floating offshore wind farm in Ireland. In January 2021, a Foreshore License application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The virtual public consultation room for the project closed on 17th October 2022.

 

These projects build on our stake in Galloper Offshore Wind Farm (acquired by ESB in 2018) as well as our 50% shareholding in Neart na Gaoithe, a 448 MW offshore wind farm currently under construction off the east coast of Scotland. In October 2020, ESB also partnered with Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power Limited to form a 50:50 joint venture for Inch Cape Offshore Limited. This 72-turbine wind farm is in development off the east coast of Scotland. You can read more here

Solar Energy

ESB is continuing to develop a growing solar energy portfolio and we are partnering with others to help deliver this and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

ESB and Harmony Solar developing more than 1,000MW of large-scale projects

In May 2020, we entered into a partnership with Irish-owned renewable energy company, Harmony Solar. Together, we are developing a portfolio of over 1,000MW of solar with an initial capital investment of €30 million.

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Developing solar farms in the Midlands region with Bord na Mona

We have a co-development agreement in place with Bord na Móna to develop solar energy projects in four locations in counties Kildare, Offaly and Roscommon. The joint venture, known as Sundew Solar, will access part of Bord na Móna’s land bank in strategic locations across the Midlands suitable for large-scale solar energy projects.

Working with large energy users on developing solar projects video
Working with large energy users on developing solar projects

Through ESB’s Smart Energy Services, we work with large energy customers to lower their carbon footprint by improving the energy efficiency of their business while also delivering savings on their energy costs. This includes the design, operation, maintenance and finance of large-scale solar PV systems.

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