Shell and Simply Blue Group partner up again for floating wind

Shell has signed an agreement with Irish blue economy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51% share of their Western Star venture, which seeks to develop a floating wind farm off the Clare coast in Ireland. The joint venture will seek to co-develop up to 1.35 GW in total.

The Western Star Joint Venture will be developed by Simply Blue Group personnel and Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based at Simply Blue Group Headquarters in Cork. The project aims to harness the vast floating wind potential in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland.

Western Star floating wind

The Western Star Project will be located far offshore, at least 35km off the west coast of Co. Clare, in waters over 100 m deep, and will have a total capacity of up to 1.35 GW, enough to power the equivalent of 1,145,000 homes in Ireland. The joint venture will seek to co-develop 300 MW 450 MW in the first phase with 700 MW-900 MW to follow.

The first phase could include between 15 MW and 18 MW turbines. The assembly, installation and deployment of these turbines could stimulate hundreds of high-quality jobs in the local supply chain. Long-term operations and maintenance of the turbines will also require local skills and services to support this industry.

The news follows a similar agreement earlier this year to jointly develop the Emerald, a 1.3GW floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland in the Celtic Sea.

Hessel de Jong, Offshore Wind General Manager Europe, Shell, said: “Shell has a clear ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. We aim to provide more renewable power to consumers and businesses alike. Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success for both the Western Star floating wind project and the previously announced Emerald project, which is why we have chosen to work with Simply Blue Group.”

Hugh Kelly, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Director, Simply Blue Group, said, “There is tremendous wind potential off the West Coast of Ireland and Simply Blue Group are delighted to partner once again with Shell to jointly develop the Western Star project. The project will utilise floating offshore wind technology to produce zero-carbon electricity and will greatly help Ireland progress towards a green energy future with domestically sourced sustainable electricity delivering both environmental and economic benefits to the entire country. Simply Blue Group are committed to developing floating offshore wind projects in Ireland.”

The Western Start floating wind farm will be co-developed with a wave energy conversion array, approximately 4 km from the coast. This project will first focus on a two-step phased installation initially with 5MW capacity before building up to a 30MW demonstration array, it states on the Simply Blue Group website. Source: Shell Image source: Simply Blue Group

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