Energia teams up with Vårgrønn on two Irish offshore wind projects

1 Aug 2023

Energia Group CEO Ian Thom and Vårgrønn CEO Olav Hetland. Image: Shane O'Neill/Coalesce.

The two companies plan to have two offshore wind sites operational by 2030, which will have the capacity to generate up to 1.8GW of energy.

Irish energy provider Energia Group has partnered with Norway’s Vårgrønn to develop new offshore wind projects across Ireland’s coasts.

The two companies have pledged to work together on two sites, which have the potential to generate up to 1.8GW of energy when completed. The two sites are at the North Celtic Sea and the South Irish Sea.

Energia Renewables – the renewable energy arm of the group – said it has conducted development works at these two sites over the past four years. This development work includes seabed surveys, aerial data on local birds and mammals and preparations for environmental impact assessments.

Energia said the preparation work means both of these projects can be operational by 2030. Ireland aims to have 7GW of new offshore wind projects (including 2GW for green hydrogen production) completed by the end of the decade, along with a target of 37GW by 2050.

“Through the development work completed to date, our partnership is uniquely placed to deliver new offshore capacity on the south and east coasts by 2030, and in so doing, make a significant contribution to Ireland’s offshore wind targets,” Energia Group CEO Ian Thom said.

“Today’s announcement underpins Energia Group’s commitment to climate action and the provision of renewable electricity to homes and businesses across the island of Ireland.”

Energia Group said it currently supplies roughly 18pc of the island of Ireland’s total electricity requirements and is responsible for approximately 23pc of the island’s current wind power capacity.

The company also has investments in the solar sector. In 2019, Energia acquired Irish solar developer Solfar Farmers Ltd, which gave it control of two solar projects at Glenamoy and Darthogue in Meath.

Vårgrønn is a Norwegian offshore wind company that has multiple projects in the works in the UK and Norway. The company has its own goal of having at least 5GW of offshore wind in operation or sanctioned by 2030 across Northern Europe.

“We are very pleased to join forces with Energia Renewables to develop offshore wind projects in Ireland,” said Vårgrønn CEO Olav Hetland. “Having strong local expertise is critical to successfully delivering projects that provide affordable power at scale and speed while contributing to local jobs creation.

“Energia’s long-standing local presence and track record with delivering a wide range of onshore renewable energy projects in Ireland therefore makes them an ideal partner for us.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic