Shell Returns for More Floating Wind Offshore Ireland, 18 MW Turbines In Play

Shell has signed an agreement with the Irish blue economy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51 per cent share of their Western Star venture which seeks to develop a floating wind farm off the Clare coast in Ireland.

This follows a similar agreement between Shell and Simply Blue Group earlier this year to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland.

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.

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The project aims to harness the vast floating wind potential in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland. The joint venture will seek to co-develop up to 1.35 GW in total: 300 MW-450 MW in the first phase with 700 MW-900 MW to follow. This is equivalent to powering over one million Irish homes.

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.”

Floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines allowing this project to be placed 35 to 60 kilometres offshore, keeping visual impact to a minimum, the developers said.

The first phase of the project could include between 15 MW and 18 MW turbines, with the assembly, installation, and deployment of these turbines stimulating 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.

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.”