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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

International energy company Irving Oil and Simply Blue Group, an Irish blue economy developer in floating offshore wind and renewable fuels, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a commitment to explore opportunities related to the potential development of an integrated renewable energy hub at the Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery in Cork Harbour.

This agreement will see the companies jointly exploring a series of opportunities that would contribute to the development of such a renewable energy hub at the Whitegate refinery – Ireland’s only refinery and a critical part of the country’s energy infrastructure – including the production of green hydrogen and its use in the production of electrofuels for local and international markets. Electrofuels, known as e-fuels, are carbon-neutral, sustainable fuels produced with renewable electricity and carbon or nitrogen extracted from the air.

Irving Oil and Simply Blue Group will also be assessing ways to integrate the significant planned offshore wind developments around Ireland into this renewable energy hub, including Simply Blue Group’s planned Emerald Floating Wind project, to be located approximately 50 km south of Cork, Ireland.

Together, the companies are committed to innovation and collaboration, seeking to develop sustainable and transformative projects that will provide energy security to customers and communities into the future.

With a focus on leadership through the energy transition, Irving Oil has committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across its operations and to the development of more sustainable energy solutions. The company has set targets to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as well as actively working towards a net-zero objective by 2050.

This important partnership with Simply Blue Group could yield important new opportunities to reduce emissions in the ongoing operations of the Whitegate refinery and enable the production of a new generation of ultra-low carbon energy products – specifically e-fuels – aligned with evolving customer demands and energy policy within the European Union.

“At Irving Oil, we are committed to leadership through the energy transition and engaging in strong partnerships is a key part of our strategy as we all work toward a lower carbon future,” says Irving Oil President Ian Whitcomb. “The work we are starting with Simply Blue Group is another example of our energy transition strategy coming to life. Bringing together a key piece of energy infrastructure in Ireland – the Whitegate refinery – with Simply Blue Group’s global leadership in offshore wind development can create compelling new opportunities in Ireland.”

Sam Roch Perks, Simply Blue Groups’, Group Chief Executive Officer said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Simply Blue Group, and we are excited to be working with Irving Oil as we jointly investigate the potential development of an integrated renewable energy hub at the Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery. This is a potential game changer for Ireland. It presents the opportunity to become a pioneer and leader in e-Fuels, a new industry sector that will prove vital in the fight against climate change.”

He continued: “The recent announcement of 2GW of green hydrogen from offshore wind by Minister Ryan strengthens our confidence in Ireland’s intention to enable this sector. Integrating large scale floating offshore wind farms – another huge opportunity for Ireland – with large onshore e-Fuel production facilities also offers many advantages in efficiently addressing challenges associated with intermittency, energy storage and system balancing.”

Under the terms of the MOU, the companies look forward to entering this phase of work together.

Published in Power From the Sea
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The Merel G Offshore Supply Ship is currently operating out of Cork Harbour and is understood to be involved in lifting the last of the county's gas platforms. 

The vessel is customised for offshore oil and gas stand-by capabilities.

Built in 2015, the aluminium-hulled catamaran sails under the flag of Panama, according to Marinetraffic.com

Her length overall (LOA) is 25.75 meters, and her width is 10.27 meters. She has a gross tonnage is 181 tons.

Merel G's two primary functions are semi-stand-by activities and crew transfer operations.

The 27.5 metres Merel G catamaran in Cork HarbourThe 27.75 metres Merel G catamaran in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour
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Crowds lined the Riverside from Monkstown to Cobh in Cork Harbour this afternoon as the Big Lift Baffin left Cork Dockyard with three heavy lift cranes aboard bound for New York.

Two Cork Port tugs assisted the ship leaving the Dockyard. It went astern out to the centre of Monkstown Bay and was then turned bow on to leave the harbour down past Cobh, Whitegate and Roche"s Point for the ten-day voyage to the US.

Big Lift heading for sea and New YorkBig Lift heading for sea and New York

For more read Afloat's earlier report on the Big Lift Baffin here

Crowds watching Big Lift Baffin depart Cork DockyardCrowds watching Big Lift Baffin depart Cork Dockyard

Bob Bateman's Big Lift Photo Gallery Below

Published in Port of Cork

A grandfather, his daughter and grandson, ended up in the water when their 420 dinghy capsized East of Whitegate Oil Refinery in Cork Harbour.

The volunteer RNLI crew of Denis Cronin, Claire Morgan and two crew from Youghal Lifeboat Station, Karen Walsh and Noel Joyce (who happened to be in the station participating in a first aid Course) launched immediately to the scene, after being paged at 3.50 pm.

En route, it was reported the casualties had been taken from the water by a RIB, coincidentally crewed by two members of the Ballycotton Lifeboat (Alan Cott and Conor Philpott). Another RIB, Sea Safari “C Breeze," was also standing by.

On arrival, two of the casualties transferred over to the lifeboat and were medically checked while the dinghy was righted and returned to Cobh.

As the two casualties on the lifeboat were very cold, It was decided to head to Cobh and their vehicle, where dry clothing would be available.

Once landed, the lifeboat headed back to the dinghy and escorted it to a safe berth in Cobh.

The RNLI Shore Crew involved were Gary Heslin, Hugh Mockler, Sandra Farrell, Darryl Hughes, Kline Peneyfeather and Jonny Bermingham.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

Cobh People’s Regatta, with Cove Sailing Club, is on this weekend with events ashore and afloat.

Sailing races begin with the young sailors of the Optimist fleet on Friday morning, starting at 10 a.m. The cruisers will race that evening at 7 p.m. for the Titanic Trophy. Both are open events as is the Dinghy Racing on Saturday, starting at 2.30 p.m.

The famous Rankin dinghies will race for the ‘Rankin Brothers’ Cup on Saturday. “We expect a great fleet with fifteen boats entered and we hope to have a race mark in by the Promenade in Cobh to increase spectator enjoyment,” Maurice Kidney, one of those who led the revival of the fleet, tells me. First gun for this fleet will be at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, there will be cruiser racing, starting at 1.30 p.m., an open event for all clubs.

Ashore there is a wide variety of events planned.

Published in Cove Sailing Club

Two back-to-back shouts on Thursday evening (4 August) for the volunteers of Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour.

The first tasking came at 4.15 pm and the crew launched to a report of a ‘raft” with persons onboard drifting between Spike Island and the Whitegate oil refinery.

The crew of Warren Forbes, Norman Jackson, Claire Morgan and Derek Moynan made best speed to the area before conducting a sector search of the area. After a period searching with nothing found, the Coast Guard stood down the lifeboat to return to station. The call was deemed a false alarm with good intent.

30 minutes after putting the lifeboat “to bed”, Valentia Coast Guard once again activated the pagers at 6.20pm to proceed to an angling boat with 4 adults and 2 children on board in the Graball Bay area of The Sound.

The track of  the busy Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork HarbourThe track of the busy Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour

An adult male on the vessel was having a medical episode. The lifeboat crew of Alan Venner, Jonny Bermingham and Claire Morgan were soon alongside. Claire transferred to the casualty vessel and administered casualty care whilst both vessels proceeded to Crosshaven where the casualty was handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service.

Shore crew on these taskings were, Hugh Mockler, Aidan O’Connor, Warren Forbes, Jon Meany, Jonny Bermingham and Michael McCann (DLA).

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour was requested to launch shortly before noon on Monday (July 25th) to assist a 13-metre steel-hulled yacht on passage from Youghal to Crosshaven that had engine difficulties.

The yacht, with three crew on board alerted Valentia Coast Guard as they were approaching Roches Point that they had engine problems, and with a North Westerly wind blowing over 25 knots along with a 1 to 2 metre sea running, felt it prudent not to attempt entering Cork Harbour under sail alone.

The lifeboat volunteers of Aidan O’Conner, Susanne Deane, Norman Jackson and Claire Morgan launched and met the yacht at Roches Point. Susanne Deane boarded the yacht and organised the lines for the tow, before the vessel was brought to Crosshaven Boatyard, where she was safely berthed.

The lifeboat returned to station, was washed down, refuelled and declared ready for service once more at 1.15 pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volvo Cork Week kicked off with a fun-filled Family Day on Sunday that was preceded by an official opening by Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Kieran O'Connell and Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD.

The regatta takes place in Crosshaven from 11-15 July.

According to Afloat's WM Nixon, one of the reasons people are coming from far and wide - in addition to many ports nearer the venue - is because the international sailing community was very impressed by the dignified, exemplary and innovative way in which the Royal Cork Yacht Club under Admiral Colin Morehead dealt with the seemingly total setback of not being able to stage their long-planned Tricentenary in 2020

After a four year hiatus, guests eventually gather for Cork Week 2022 and RCYC's tricentenary celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanAfter a four-year hiatus, guests eventually gather for Cork Week 2022 and RCYC's tricentenary celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

There was fun and adventure for families across the whole village of Crosshaven, from the Royal Cork Yacht Club to Camden Fort Meagher and everywhere in between, including the famous Pipers Fun Fair and boat trips from Hugh Coveney Pier on the Cailin Or.

Cork Week enjoys events both on and off the water events, as they celebrate the tricentenary of the oldest yacht club in the world after events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemicCork Week enjoys events both on and off the water events, as they celebrate the tricentenary of the oldest yacht club in the world after events were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic Photo: Bob Bateman

This year's emphasis is on sustainability with coastal walks, competitions, games, and a new coastal market in the Marquee at the Yacht Club. A children's workshop with Marine Scientist and Volvo Car Ireland Brand Ambassador Finn van der Aar also took place, and RedFM will broadcast live from the event.

The biennial Cork Week regatta draws spectators from far and near and the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht ClubThe biennial Cork Week regatta draws spectators from far and near, and the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat previously reported, the fleet is in. This morning (Monday, July 11th), the action on the water gets underway for the event that incorporates three championship events - the 1720 European Championships, which will include 47 1720 boats that were designed in Cork, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships and the Dragons South Coast Championships – in addition to the renowned Beaufort Cup for international uniformed service personnel, which encompasses a race around the Fastnet Rock and back to Cork.

Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time this year as part of Volo Cork Week. It promises to be a fantastic viewing spectacle with some famous classic racing yachts on display Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time this year as part of Cork Week. It promises to be a fantastic viewing spectacle with some famous classic racing yachts on display  Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal Cork Yacht Club will host a Classic Yacht Regatta Classics at Crosshaven: Cork Harbour one designs Jap and Elsie alongside the just restored Lady Min, and coming up river is the 1919 Erin Photo: Bob Bateman

The 37-foot classic yacht French yacht Persephone on her berth at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanThe 37-foot classic yacht French yacht Persephone on her berth at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

At least one competing boat only arrived at the Crosshaven venue this morning, having had success in the UK at the weekend.

There will be a Ladies' Day charity lunch in aid of the Crosshaven RNLI on Wednesday, July 13th, with Volvo brand ambassadors Amy Huberman and Brendan Courtney, which is a total sell-out.

Anna-Marie Fagan, Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week and David Thomas, Managing director of Volvo Car IrelandAnna-Marie Fagan, Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week and David Thomas, Managing director of Volvo Car Ireland

Anna-Marie Fagan, Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Co-Chair of Volvo Cork Week, said, "I'm looking forward to welcoming sailors from around the world back to the stunning Cork Harbour. It will be an exceptional week of sailing, and we have a fantastic family day planned for everyone in Cork to enjoy. We have a packed schedule on and off the water".

Published in Cork Week

Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour had a break-in on Monday evening (July 4), resulting in considerable damage to its waterside clubhouse. 

Contents of the clubhouse located at Whitepoint were 'smashed', but a defiant membership has posted on the club's Facebook page; "They may have smashed our tv and the contents of our club, but they didn't break our Cove Sailing Club spirit." 

Local reaction has been swift to condemn the vandalism, with Cobh's Aisling O Callaghan posting, "I am totally shocked and dismayed. I am so sorry that this has happened to the club and Cobh".

The clubhouse opened in 2009 with support from a Sports Council grant, Cobh Town Council and Cobh VEC. The facility includes a dinghy park at Whitepoint, Cobh, to provide boats, equipment, changing facilities and coaching primarily aimed at local children who want to learn to sail.

The club, which describes itself as 'a friendly and informal club', recently staged the successful Friday night Great Island Motors June Cruisers League

If anyone has any information regarding the break-in, they are asked to contact Cobh Gardai.

Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour had a break-in - CSC Facebook pageCove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour had a break-in - CSC Facebook page.

Published in Cove Sailing Club

At Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour Gary Mills’ Shipman 28, Tonga, leads the Friday night Great Island Motors June cruisers league, with Cathy Mullan’s First 260, Angela, second and Des Corbett’s Sadler 25, NettaJ, third.

Published in Cove Sailing Club
Page 1 of 93

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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