Shell takes majority share in Irish floating wind project

© Simply Blue Energy

Shell has signed an agreement with Irish developer Simply Blue Energy to acquire a 51% stake in their Simply Blue Energy Kinsale business. This venture was set up to develop the Emerald Project, a floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea, off the south coast of Ireland.

The joint venture brings together Simply Blue Energy’s local knowledge and floating wind track record with Shell’s offshore and floating wind experience and experience in developing large-scale projects. Simply Blue Energy will manage the project from the project office in Cork City Docklands. Shell’s floating wind specialists will provide support.

Emerald Project
The Emerald Project is being developed some 35 – 60 km offshore near the Kinsale gas fields, which are currently being decommissioned. The project is still in the early stages. It will be developed over a period of 8 to 10 years. Initially, 300 MW of installed capacity is planned, with the potential to scale up to a total installed capacity of 1 GW. This equates to the energy consumption of 800,000 Irish households.

Scaling up the project in phases allows the partners to build the infrastructure required to complete a project of this size. Depending on the size of the turbines selected, the first phase of the project will comprise between 15 and 25 turbines. Maintenance will be done from the port of Cork. The project could create hundreds of jobs in the local supply chain, Shell said. It also contributes to the Irish government’s goal of achieving 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Progression of the project is dependent on securing all relevant on and offshore governmental and regulatory consents; an appropriate grid connection and a route to market through the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) auction process.

Earlier, in June 2020, Shell already joined 9 other offshore energy giants at the national Floating Offshore Wind Center of Excellence (FOWCoE) of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult research center in the UK. Together they want to accelerate the commercialization of floating wind energy.

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