Shell Takes Majority Stake in Irish Floating Wind Project

Dutch oil and gas major Shell has agreed to take a majority stake in a 1 GW floating wind project offshore Ireland.

Shell New Energies, the renewable energy trading, generation, and supply arm of Shell, has signed an agreement with Simply Blue Energy to acquire 51 per cent in Simply Blue Energy’s Kinsale venture.

Kinsale was set up to develop the Emerald floating wind project, a floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea, off the south coast of Ireland.

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The joint venture will be operated by Simply Blue Energy supported by Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based in the Cork City Docklands rejuvenation area.

“At Shell we aim to build an integrated power business spanning electricity generation, trading and supply,” Colin Crooks, VP Offshore Wind, Shell, said.

”This project could provide green power to consumers and businesses alike and contribute towards Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050, or sooner. Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success and this is why we have chosen and look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy who are rooted in the local community.”

The first phase of the Emerald project will feature between 15 and 25 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 300 MW installed between 35 and 60 kilometres off the coast of Cork.

The wind farm will be located in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas fields, which are currently being decommissioned.

“Floating wind energy is a major opportunity for Ireland to become a ‘Green Gulf’, by realising the benefits of its vast marine and offshore wind resources without negatively impacting our beautiful coastlines,” Sam Roch-Perks, CEO of Simply Blue Energy, said.

”Simply Blue Energy is delighted to work with Shell to further our portfolio of floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. Our shared vision for Emerald is to do the right thing for our stakeholders, the community and the environment. This announcement represents an important milestone in the ability of the Emerald project to ensure the government meets its climate target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.”

Fieldfisher Ireland advised Simply Blue Energy on the partnership with Shell. The deal is the second partnership with an oil and gas major that Fieldfisher Ireland has advised Simply Blue Energy on. In March 2020, the Dublin team acted for the company on its joint venture with Total to develop floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea off the Welsh coast.

Green Giraffe acted as sole financial advisor to Simply Blue Energy on the Emerald transaction with Shell.