Ireland’s first west coast wave energy project has been awarded €23m in funding from the European Union (EU) to develop the project on a larger scale.
As part of the EU’s New Entrant Reserve funding scheme, otherwise known as NER 300, the WestWave project is expected to develop wave energy production facilities by 2018 and generating an initial 5MW, or the equivalent of the joint electricity consumption of households in nearby Kilrush and Kilkee.
The project team is already developing the site at Killard, near Doonbeg, Co Clare, and is currently procuring the technology designs to deploy the wave energy generators.
With construction expected to start in 2016, the ESB hope that it will encourage further developments of wave energy projects and greater public acceptance.
ESB’s head of innovation, John McSweeney said of the decision by the EU to award the project funding: “Ireland’s oceans have the potential to provide large quantities of indigenous, renewable energy and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels.
“Demonstration projects like ESB WestWave are critical if we are to realise the ultimate aim of progressing to larger commercial scale projects and a low carbon future. The funding award announced today is a huge boost to the ESB WestWave project and to Ocean Energy development in Ireland and Europe.”