ESB plans to build giant multibillion-euro offshore wind farms in Irish Sea

4 Sep 20171316 Shares

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Image: Shaun Wilkinson/Shutterstock

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Plan to deploy wind farms off the coastlines of Ireland and the UK is not hot air.

Ireland’s largest electricity provider, ESB, has put out a tender document seeking the establishment of vast wind farms.

The organisation is seeking “the provision of renewable energy marine services related to offshore wind farms”, which will be located in the Irish Sea.

‘ESB is progressing projects on a number of fronts; these include onshore wind, solar and, more recently, offshore wind’
– ESB

ESB is reportedly planning to begin either developing or acquiring wind farms that will range between 200 to 500 megawatts in size.

Going with the wind

With the cost per megawatt for an offshore wind farm understood to be around €2m, the ESB is likely to enter into partnerships to fund such ventures.

Individual projects could cost between €400m and €1bn.

In the tender document, ESB said it plans to “develop or acquire the offshore wind farms, commencing in 2018”, according to The Sunday Times.

To date, there is only one offshore wind farm in Ireland: the Arklow Bank project off the coast of Wicklow. Its construction garnered a lot of protest from residents at the time, who feared it would spoil their epic views.

ESB is already working on a number of onshore, solar and offshore wind projects.

According to the Irish Independent, ESB has partnered with Coriolis Energy in the UK to build a 400-megawatt onshore wind venture as well as a gas-fired power station at Carrington near Manchester.

In Ireland, ESB has partnered with Bord na Móna to build solar farms in Offaly, Kildare and Roscommon.

“ESB sees the generation of low-carbon electricity as the essential enabler for the economy’s transition to a low-carbon future. ESB is progressing projects on a number of fronts; these include onshore wind, solar and, more recently, offshore wind,” the electricity firm said in a statement.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com