Oriel Windfarm Ltd. and Gaelectric Holdings plc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop an offshore wind farm in the north Irish Sea.
The North Irish Sea Array (NISA) has the potential to produce up to 870 MW of wind energy from the Irish Sea and will commence with the development of a 15 MW demonstration project entailing an investment of €80million in a new research and development hub for offshore wind energy.
Both Oriel and Gaelectric have been involved in representations to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to extend the feed-in tariff for wave and tidal energy, announced at the Irish Renewable Energy Summit 2015, to offshore wind R&D projects to be capped at 30 MW.
Ireland has one of the largest offshore wind resources in the world. The Government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, published in 2014, indicated the potential to generate up to 10,000 MW of renewable energy from offshore wind energy.
The companies added the NISA Offshore Demonstration Project “will see international companies use the Irish Sea as a testing ground for new innovations in offshore wind energy technology.”
“NISA will commence with a significant demonstration project which, by their nature, draw investment and attract collaborations with local universities and provide opportunities for local businesses,” said Brian Britton, Managing Director of Oriel Windfarm Ltd.