ESB partners with Norway’s Equinor for potential offshore wind projects

22 Nov 2019

From left: Jim Dollard and Jens O Økland. Image: ESB

ESB is hopeful that the partnership could support the Irish Government’s 2050 vision for a net zero carbon economy.

On Thursday (21 November), ESB announced that it has entered into a partnership with Norwegian energy company Equinor.

The partnership will work to identify suitable sites for new offshore windfarms in Irish waters and work to mature potential future wind projects. The potential for energy storage technology and other technologies to complement offshore wind operations will also be examined.

Together, ESB and Equinor will explore opportunities for large-scale wind projects that could be in commercial operation by 2030, in an effort to contribute to the wider goals of the Irish Government’s plan for energy transition.

In a statement, ESB said that the move strengthens the company’s commitment to the development of an offshore wind portfolio in the Irish market, building on a recent investment in the Galloper offshore windfarm in the UK and making an important contribution to ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy.

Long-term vision

It is hoped that the partnership will support the Government’s 2050 vision for a net zero carbon economy through fixed and floating offshore windfarms and enabling technologies.

In a statement, ESB noted that the partnership has been founded on a long-term vision held by both participants to develop well-designed offshore wind projects of scale, taking into account the needs and interests of key stakeholders.

Equinor already has significant global experience in the development and operation of offshore wind energy projects, which ESB believes will complement the Irish company’s existing experience of developing and operating generation projects in the Irish and UK markets.

ESB Generation and Trading executive director Jim Dollard, said: “Through this partnership, we are demonstrating our commitment to creating a low-carbon future, powered by clean electricity. The delivery of offshore wind projects in Ireland further supports our strategy to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we generate.

“By collaborating with innovative, like-minded organisations such as Equinor, we will play a leading role in the transition to a clean energy future. Equinor’s scale and capabilities make them an ideal long-term partner.”

Jens O Økland, SVP for business development in new energy solutions at Equinor, said: “We are looking forward to a strong collaboration with ESB, where we will jointly explore offshore wind opportunities in the Irish market.

“ESB brings local knowledge and expertise and in the ongoing energy transition offshore wind can contribute as an important source of renewable energy, providing energy to people and progress to society.”

With a sea area almost 10 times the size of its landmass, Ireland has a very significant offshore wind capacity.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic