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ESB Opens Moneypoint Virtual Consultation Room To The Public

19th October 2022
ESB has recently launched a Virtual Consultation Room for the proposed Moneypoint Offshore Wind Project, situated off the coasts of South Clare and North Kerry. The room will provide viewers with up-to-date information on the project and offers an opportunity for viewers to ask questions or provide feedback, and will be open until mid-November 2022
ESB has recently launched a Virtual Consultation Room for the proposed Moneypoint Offshore Wind Project, situated off the coasts of South Clare and North Kerry. The room will provide viewers with up-to-date information on the project and offers an opportunity for viewers to ask questions or provide feedback, and will be open until mid-November 2022

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of this generation. Its impact is evident in increasingly extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, water shortages and disruption to biodiversity and ecosystems.

Offshore wind-generated electricity has a transformative role to play globally in mankind’s fight against this change and our transition to a zero-carbon economy by eliminating carbon and other harmful greenhouse gases emitted by the energy sector by replacing that generation with clean renewable electricity as opposed to through the burning of fossil fuels.

ESB – leading the development of offshore wind in Ireland

On 14th February, we launched our ambitious new strategy – Driven to make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 – with the aim of putting in place the infrastructure and services to enable our customers and broader society to live more sustainably. This builds on our 2017 Brighter Future strategy, which set a clear direction for ESB to take action and exercise leadership in tackling climate change.

Dipping our toe

One of the objectives of our Brighter Future strategy was to “Produce, connect and deliver clean, secure and affordable energy”, with the intent of incorporating significantly more renewable generation into our portfolio. Our first step into the world of offshore wind development came in March 2018 when we acquired a 12.5% share of the 353MW Galloper Offshore Wind Farm[1], located off the coast of Suffolk.

We are now involved as partner in three other offshore wind development projects in UK waters, as well as seven others around the coast of Ireland, two in partnership with Parkwind[2] – Clogherhead[3] and Oriel[4] – and five others that are sole ESB projects

[1] http://www.galloperwindfarm.com/

[2] https://parkwind.eu/

[3] https://www.clogherheadwind.ie/

[4] https://www.orielwindfarm.ie/

The ESB projects are illustrated on the map above and consist of the following:

Further information on each site is available on ESB’s Renewable Energy homepage - ESB and Renewable Energy

Project status

Investigative Foreshore Licence Applications for the ESB projects were submitted in late 2020 and early 2021 to facilitate the commencement of site investigation works in the form of geophysical, geotechnical, metocean and other environmental surveys. To date, two of these have been advertised for public consultation. The Sea Stacks consultation closed at the end of January 2022 and the Helvick Head consultation closed at the end of March. It is anticipated that the consultations for the other three projects will take place over the coming months – please keep an eye on the project webpages for updates.

ESB Moneypoint offshore wind

We have recently launched a Virtual Consultation Room for our Moneypoint project, which can be accessed at the following webpage: https://www.moneypointoffshorewind.ie/Public-Consultation.html The room will provide viewers with up-to-date information on the project and offers an opportunity for viewers to ask questions or provide feedback, and will be open until mid-November 2022. We will host a webinar on the project in due course to give interested parties an opportunity to hear from the project team directly and also to offer an opportunity for questions to be asked by the public. If you would like to take part in the webinar, please leave your details in the feedback form in the consultation room. Otherwise, you can let us know by emailing [email protected]

Open and engaged approach to development

ESB appreciates that our proposed offshore wind sites have the potential to impact some maritime and fishing activities both during the development, planning and construction stages as well as during the operational and subsequent decommissioning phases of our projects. We are currently trying to identify what those impacts might be so that we can take all steps possible to minimise and mitigate against them, both within the wind turbine array area and also along the electricity export cable corridor(s).

During site investigation surveys, wind farm construction works and cable laying it is envisaged that some restrictions will be required to facilitate safe operation of the associated vessels and construction/installation teams. ESB will agree an approach for these activities with the relevant fishers and other marine users associated with any of our proposed projects in advance of any such works. ESB will never carry out works that may impact the maritime community without first engaging appropriately.

During the operation of any of our wind farms, persistence of largely normal, unhindered maritime activity is the aim for ESB. We appreciate, though, that this will be dependent on a number of factors, e.g. turbine array spacing, location of grid cables, whether or not the turbines are bottom-fixed or floating, etc. Gaining a proper understanding from marine users of how our project sites have been and are being used – both in terms of location and type of activity – is, therefore, a key input into the site design process. In that regard, we would very strongly encourage all interested parties to make contact with ESB so that we can both try to attain a better understanding of how we can pursue our interests mutually.

Contact details

ESB’s Stakeholder Manager on the five projects is Brian Hegarty. Brian can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or by calling +447980567980.

ESB’s Community Liaison Officer on the five projects is Michael McGlynn. Michael can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or by calling +353861363512.

Alternatively, if you have any queries relating to any specific site or project, you can contact the project team directly from the Contact Us section of the relevant project webpage.

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ESB’s 2040 strategy Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040 sets out a clear roadmap for ESB to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. 

ESB will develop and connect renewable energy to decarbonise the electricity system by 2040. ESB will invest in the development of new renewable generation, including onshore and offshore wind and solar, and will significantly increase the amount of renewable generation connected to our electricity networks.

ESB will:

  • Deliver more than a fivefold increase in our renewable generation portfolio to 5,000MW.
  • Reduce carbon intensity of generation fleet from 414 to 140gCO2/kWh by 2030.
  • Decarbonise 63% of our generation output by 2030 and 100% by 2040 (up from c20% now).

Offshore wind

ESB know the importance of offshore wind in tackling climate change and delivering net zero. Ireland has a unique capability given its prime location to take advantage of the potential of offshore wind. ESB are working hard to develop offshore wind projects for the benefit of everyone across society in Ireland and the UK. This includes ongoing engagement with marine users and local communities so ESB can deliver these significant projects.

Offshore wind will play a major role globally in our fight against climate change. It will help to replace energy generated by burning fossil fuels with that from a clean, safe and secure renewable energy source. Ireland’s geographic location on the exposed edge of the Atlantic presents us with a significant opportunity to generate electricity from wind – both offshore and onshore.

Power from onshore wind farms currently provide over one-third of Ireland’s electricity needs. But, whilst its marine area is many times the size of its landmass, Ireland’s offshore wind potential is only starting to be realised. ESB have a coastline stretching over 3,000km but only one operational offshore wind farm – Arklow Bank, with a capacity of 25 MW. In contrast, Belgium’s coastline is only 63km long, but it has already developed more than 2,000 MW of offshore wind. In Great Britain, with a coastline four times the length of ours, offshore wind generation now equates to over 440 Arklow Banks, with an installed capacity of 11,0000 MW as of late 2021.

The Irish Government's target to install 5,000 MW of offshore wind capacity in our maritime area by 2030 is set out in the Climate Action Plan 2021. It also has the objective to source 80% of Ireland’s electricity needs from renewables by the same year. In line with this, ESB is applying its professional and proven engineering expertise to the challenges set within the Climate Action Plan.

ESB are committed to playing a strong role in developing Ireland’s offshore wind potential for the benefit of the people of Ireland. This will be done in consultation with marine users and local communities, and with due care for the marine environment.

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