A photo of an offshore wind farm

Irish ESB Joins Northland Power on Two Scottish Offshore Wind Projects

ESB will acquire a 24.5 per cent interest in Northland Power’s ScotWind projects, the fixed-bottom offshore wind farm Spiorad na Mara and the floating wind project Havbredey. Northland will retain 75.5 per cent in each project and continue to lead their development, construction, and operation.

Northland Power/Illustration

The companies have signed definitive agreements on ESB’s purchase of project stakes, with all commitments made prior to the agreements to remain in place.

Northland Power says the partnership with ESB “brings together two very experienced companies with complementary skills, resources, and ambitions” and demonstrates the strong interest in ScotWind and in developing offshore wind in Scotland.

“This is yet another exciting milestone for Northland, Spiorad na Mara and Havbredey. With ESB, we have found a highly experienced and valued partner to help advance the development of the projects, and we look forward to working closely together to realise both projects over the months and years ahead”, said Tanya Davies, Project Director, ScotWind, Northland Power.

“This announcement builds upon the progress already made, to deliver locally produced clean offshore wind energy, which is at the heart of achieving Scotland’s net zero emissions target by 2045“, said David Povall, Executive Vice President Offshore Wind. “The projects represent significant new energy infrastructure investment in Scotland, and we are fully committed to working in partnership with local communities and stakeholders throughout the development, construction and operation to maximise all opportunities available”.

Jim Dollard, ESB Executive Director, Generation and Trading, says the partnership with Northland creates a valuable platform for ESB to pool expertise with a like-minded partner and build on its considerable presence in Scotland.

Last year, ESB signed a lease agreement with Crown Estate Scotland for the development of a floating offshore wind farm of its own. In 2021, the company also announced that it was developing a 1.4 GW floating offshore wind farm off the west coast of Ireland.

“The Spiorad na Mara and Havbredey projects are an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a global partner in Northland, build on our extensive experience in Scotland and provide synergies and learnings for similar projects in Ireland”, Jim Dollard said.

Northland Power secured the seabed leases for the two projects last year and announced the wind farms’ names in March 2023.

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Spiorad na Mara is a fixed-bottom offshore wind project, located approximately 5 kilometres off the west coast of Lewis at its closest point.

With a potential capacity of around 840 MW, the offshore wind farm could meet the average annual electricity needs for around 760,000 Scottish homes with renewable electricity and save around 1.2 million tonnes of harmful COemissions every year, according to Northland Power.

The site of the Havbredey floating wind turbine project is located approximately 35 kilometres offshore to the north-west of Lewis.

The floating wind farm has a potential capacity of around 1.5 GW, which would be enough to meet the average annual electricity needs for around 1.3 million Scottish homes with renewable electricity and save around 2.2 million tonnes of harmful COemissions every year, the developer says.

The 840 MW Spiorad na Mara project is planned to be operational in 2031 and, according to earlier information from Northland Power, its development will be prioritised in the immediate short term utilising the established technology of fixed-bottom wind turbines.

The 1.4 GW floating wind farm is expected to be built by 2036.


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