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Displaying items by tag: Offshore Wind Farm

Members of the national parliament of Ireland, the Oireachtas, recently visited the WindFloat Atlantic, a floating offshore wind farm in Portugal operated by Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDPR and ENGIE. The delegation included Alan Farrell TD and Senator John McGahon, both members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action. The purpose of the visit was to gain first-hand experience of the floating offshore wind facility and its associated infrastructure and to learn about the optimal approach to offshore wind farm development. The visit also aimed to highlight the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement, a priority that Ocean Winds follows throughout each project's earliest stages.

The WindFloat Atlantic project, operated by Ocean Winds, has been operational since 2020 and is the first floating offshore wind farm of its kind. It offers economic and infrastructural benefits of offshore wind farms and accommodates floating offshore wind technology, which allows turbines to be located further from shore in waters deeper than 60m. The visit comes at a critical time when the need to leverage Ireland's offshore wind power potential is greater than ever before, amid the increasing impact of climate change, as well as Ireland's climate target ambitions.

Windfloat Atlantic, a floating offshore wind farm in Portugal operated by Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDPR and ENGIEWindfloat Atlantic, a floating offshore wind farm in Portugal operated by Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDPR and ENGIE

Dan Finch, Country Manager for Ocean Winds in Ireland, said: "The WindFloat Atlantic project (25 MW) proves that the technology is viable and gives us best practices and key learnings for floating offshore wind at commercial scale." Brian Leddin TD, Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action, commented that "Ireland possesses significant potential and enormous climatic and geographic advantages when it comes to generating offshore wind energy, particularly floating offshore. The Committee members were delighted to visit WindFloat Atlantic to see a floating offshore wind farm of this nature in full operation and learn more about the infrastructure and supports underpinning such a development."

Ocean Winds entered the Irish wind energy market in 2020, bringing with it over a decade of experience inherited from its sponsors in the development of wind energy facilities across North America, the UK, Europe, and Korea. The company is currently working on the development of two offshore projects by 2030, off the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow - Réalt na Mara and Celtic Horizon off the coast of counties Wexford and Waterford. The combined projects promise to deliver over 2.3 GW of renewable energy to over 2.1 million Irish households.

The visit to the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind farm has given the Oireachtas members valuable insights into offshore wind farm development and will help Ireland to achieve its ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets outlined in the Climate Action Plan 2023.

Published in Power From the Sea

Maritime area consents (MACs) have been issued by Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan for seven offshore renewable energy projects.

The seven projects awarded the new marine consents involve six Irish Sea projects - Oriel Wind Park; Arklow Bank II; Bray Bank; Kish Bank; North Irish Sea Array; Codling Wind Park (Codling I and Codling II) – and Skerd Rocks in north Galway Bay.

The seven projects can now begin their pre-planning application engagement with An Bord Pleanála, according to Ryan.

The award of a MAC also enables these phase one projects to participate in the Offshore Renewable Energy Support Scheme 1 ( ORESS 1), the name for the first auction for offshore wind under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

ORESS 1 is expected to procure approximately 2.5GW of electricity generating capacity, Ryan said.

Projects which have been granted a MAC will be required to apply for development permission and secure a route to market within set timeframes, ensuring project progression and maximising benefits to the State, he said.

Phase One projects are also required to pay an annual levy to the State – under the terms of their MACs.

“These first Maritime Area Consents [MACs] have been carefully drafted to promote the speedy and efficient deployment of offshore renewable energy, while ultimately protecting the State’s rich and unique maritime resource, in line with the principles of the National Marine Planning Framework,” Ryan said.

Only one small offshore wind farm – a 25MW (megawatt) offshore wind farm generating electrical power in the Wicklow region – has been constructed under the old foreshore regime prior to the enactment of the new Maritime Area Planning Act.

The Act provides for the establishment of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) – a dedicated maritime area agency which is a “priority for the Government”, Ryan’s department said.

“Work on the establishment of MARA is being led by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and will be in place in early 2023, as set out in the Climate Action Plan,” it said.

Several promised deadlines for the establishment of MARA – which will take over the licensing function for issuing MACs from the minister - have already passed.

“ In the interim, the legislation provides the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications with the powers to assess the first batch of MAC applications from a set of seven qualified Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) projects, known as the Phase One projects,” it explained.

In spite of the establishment of MARA, licensing for aquaculture activities will continue to be handled by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Foreshore Act 1933.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has indicated this function will be transferred to MARA, and aquaculture licensing may be governed by the MAP legislation.

Published in Power From the Sea

A community-led renewable energy project on Kerry’s Valentia island which is seeking to build a floating offshore wind farm has applied for permission to conduct site investigations.

The Valentia Island Energy Ltd Project states in its application that it recognises that there are no constructed offshore renewable energy sites closer to shore, but believes “strongly” in the “potential of offshore floating technology”.

It says floating wind can reduce concerns about visual impact, due to distance offshore, while generating “sustainable energy responsibly”.

It says the proposed project will develop in two phases - both inside and outside the 12 nautical mile limit, with the second phase, outside the 12-mile limit, requiring a separate investigatory license.

The first phase may comprise two separate arrays of 92 floating wind turbines, with 56 of these located over a 96 km² area, and 36 turbines over a 138 km² area.

It is estimated this first phase would generate around 920 MW of energy.

The second phase will be located outside the 12 nautical-mile limit in an area occupying c. 161 km², involving about 62 floating turbines with an estimated power output of 620 MW.

It says the development area was identified as it has suitable water depths for floating wind technology, and an “appropriate wind resource/speed”.

The total area also has “suitable seabed morphology “, “suitable wave conditions”, avoids heavy marine traffic and it close to a deepwater port as in Foynes.

Valentia Island Energy Ltd says in its application that stakeholder engagement will take place, and recognises that geophysical and geotechnical surveys “may temporarily interact with the use of space of other marine users.

It says it will issue marine notices to the Maritime Safety Directorate, “as well as actively engaging with local fishing organisations, fisheries representative groups and local harbour authorities to notify other marine users of our presence and schedule of work”.

It says a fisheries liaison officer has been retained and will carry out stakeholder engagement with BIM, local fisheries groups, aquaculture companies, fish producer organisations and the SFPA among others,” informing stakeholders of the survey timelines and assessing potential impact which will then be mitigated where possible”.

Details of the site investigation works application are HERE

Published in Island News

Dutch shipping expert Carien Droppers has warned that Ireland should take into account navigational hazards posed by offshore wind farms in marine planning.

Droppers, who spoke at last week’s “Navigating to 2050” conference hosted by Irish Lights in Dublin Castle, cited the Julietta D incident in the North Sea last February as a “wake up call”

She recounted how the bulk carrier collided with a tanker after its anchor gave way in a storm, and it then drifted into the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm which was under construction.

“We had been issuing warnings for years, and when it did happen it was a big wake up call,” she said

“Even with a standard 500m exclusion zone around wind farms, bad weather can take ships off course,” she said.

Kieran Crowley, Chair, Commissioners of Irish Lights; ; Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D.; and Yvonne Shields O’Connor, CEO, Commissioners of Irish Lights; and Anthony Gurnee, Founder and CEO, Ardmore Shipping as over 280 maritime experts from Ireland, Europe, Asia and Canada gathered in Dublin Castle for a two-day conference organised by the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The conference addressed key safety and sustainability issues relating to offshore wind farms, autonomous vessels and meeting carbon neutrality targetsKieran Crowley, Chair, Commissioners of Irish Lights; ; Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D.; and Yvonne Shields O’Connor, CEO, Commissioners of Irish Lights; and Anthony Gurnee, Founder and CEO, Ardmore Shipping as over 280 maritime experts from Ireland, Europe, Asia and Canada gathered in Dublin Castle for a two-day conference organised by the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The conference addressed key safety and sustainability issues relating to offshore wind farms, autonomous vessels and meeting carbon neutrality targets Photo: Naoise Culhane

“If ships can’t navigate safely, then goods can’t reach ports...and if fishing can’t be conducted safely, then how will fishers earn their living?” Ms Droppers pointed out.

Windfarm planning in the Irish Sea must take these navigational safety factors into account, she said.

Ms Droppers’s work involves drawing up safety regimes for offshore wind development in the North Sea, one of the busiest maritime zones in the world with over 50 windfarms.

“The North Sea is very restricted, with fishing, shipping, naval exercises, conservation work and now windfarms, so it is like an industrial area with a few highways for marine traffic,”she said.

“In Ireland, your Atlantic coast has a lot of space, but the Irish Sea is more restricted and there could be issues with navigational hazards,”she said.

Published in Marine Planning

Green Rebel has announced plans to create 50 jobs over the next 12 months. 

Green Rebel is an Irish owned business established to service the current and future needs of offshore wind farms. The new positions will include survey vessel crew, technicians and engineers, data scientists and surveyors, ecologists, aircraft mission specialists, project managers, office administrators, AI specialists, software developers and sales and marketing roles. The jobs will be spread across Green Rebel’s Crosshaven, Cork Airport and Limerick offices.

The company currently employs 75 staff and that number will grow to 125 by the middle of 2022. Taoiseach Micheal Martin joined Green Rebel to announce the jobs.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “I am delighted to join Green Rebel to announce the creation of 50 jobs over the next 12 months. Having seen the technology, met many of the team, and seen some of the Green Rebel data from what is normally our hidden marine environment, I am excited that this team are having such success and innovative plans are in place to drive our supply chain forward and help Ireland become a world leader in the development of offshore wind.”

CEO of Green Rebel, John Wallace said: “We are very excited about our plans to grow and develop Green Rebel over the coming year. The waters around Ireland and further afield are set to become a major source of renewable energy generation and this is an absolutely essential element of effort to combat climate change. The quality survey work being undertaken by Green Rebel right now is designed to both protect the environment and allow wind farm developers to harness its potential. The company operates a growing fleet of state-of-the-art survey aircraft and survey vessels that capture enormous datasets that are processed by a world class team of data scientists across all disciplines. The need for revolution has never been greater and at Green Rebel we are passionate about being a dynamic contributor to help achieve a more sustainable future for all. We are building on a team with great experience and we are looking for people that share this passion.”

Founder of Green Rebel, Pearse Flynn said: “Ireland is on the cusp of a green revolution. With an abundance of offshore wind and water available to us, we can produce real fuel alternatives to help deliver Ireland’s energy transition. Wind generated offshore will pay a significant role in providing energy security and helping Ireland become a net exporter of green, renewable energy. Wind generation will bring ashore electricity that can be used either directly into the grid, or feed exciting new green energy solutions provided by our sister company EI-H2, who are looking to produce green hydrogen at sites in County Cork and beyond.”

Green Rebel is headquartered in Crosshaven, Cork and plays a key role in the development of the offshore wind sector. Using their fleet of ships, aircraft and innovative technology, the growing, diverse, and energetic team specialise in the collection, processing, and analysis of marine and metocean data. The company and its team helps accelerate green energy developments in the most sustainable and ecologically responsible manner possible.

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the Irish coastline. Green Rebel is engaging with all developers to provide world-class data acquisition and processing capabilities on their doorstep.

Published in Power From the Sea

Green Rebel Marine with a base at Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour has announced the €1.5 million purchase of a DA42 multi-purpose aircraft to conduct aerial surveys off the Irish coast.

Thousands of square miles of ocean are due to undergo ecological assessment as part of the planning process for offshore wind farms

The new aircraft will be based at Cork Airport, and will result in the creation of fifteen new jobs. These jobs are in addition to the eighty announced by Green Rebel Marine in September. 

With the purchase of its own survey aircraft, Green Rebel Marine will be the only domestic Irish company offering digital aerial surveys for offshore wind development companies. 

The twin-engined DA42 MPP is rated as best in class in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions, and is equipped with high-performance aerial cameras to conduct ecological surveys. 

Green Rebel Marine was established earlier this year to service the future needs of offshore wind farms. The company has already acquired Crosshaven Boatyard in County Cork, and the first in a fleet of survey vessels, the Bibby Athena.

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the coast from Dundalk in County Louth, to the Cork coast and beyond. Their construction will not only increase Ireland’s ability to produce renewable energy, it will also create an entire new sector dedicated to servicing their operation. 

Sarah Kandrot, Head of Aerial Surveys with Green Rebel Marine, says, “Off-shore energy is part of the green revolution, however the granting of licences for these wind farms is dependent on detailed surveys of the ocean to catalogue the ecology of the target areas. The purchase of this aircraft means that large sections can be digitally surveyed over a shorter period of time, with the aircraft flying at heights that will not disturb birds or marine megafauna. Ultimately, the information we compile will ensure that offshore wind farms are built in the best locations to protect the ecology of the ocean.” 

Green Rebel Marine founder Pearse Flynn says, “The purchase of the survey aircraft, along with the first in our fleet of survey vessels, means that Green Rebel Marine is leading the charge towards sustainable and renewable energy off the Irish coast. This is an industry that will sustain thousands of jobs while transforming Ireland into a net generator of electricity. The oceans around Ireland are a vital resource, and the quality survey work being undertaken by Green Rebel Marine will help to both protect that resource while harnessing its potential.” 

The Green Rebel Marine aircraft will be permanently based at Cork Airport once it enters full-time operation early next year.

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, said: “2020 has been a tough year for everybody so it’s great to be starting 2021 with a good news story. Recovery and jobs will be THE theme for 2021 and an aircraft based with us in Cork which helps create new jobs particularly in the green energy sector is very welcome. The Green Rebel Marine Diamond Aviation 42 aircraft will be based at the Weston General Aviation Hangar at Cork Airport and we wish them every success in this exciting new offshore wind venture.”

Published in Power From the Sea

An Irish renewable energy company is exploring the development of this island's first floating offshore wind farm close to the Kinsale gas field.

Youghal company Simply Blue Energy is already involved with French giant Total in a project to build one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea off Pembroke in Wales.

The company has applied for a license to conduct initial site investigations in an area close to the Kinsale gas field which it believes may sustain between seven and 67 wind turbines on completion.

If approved, it would be Ireland’s first floating offshore wind farm.

Kinsale gas field is currently being decommissioned, and Simply Blue Energy says that a floating wind project could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 803,000 Irish homes.

Simply Blue Energy was founded in 2011 by Sam Roch-Perks, a Cork-born engineer and property developer. It focuses on energy and aquaculture projects and has offices in Cornwall, Pembroke, Edinburgh and Co Cork.

The new Programme for Government has raised a target of 3.5 gigawatt (GW) energy production from offshore wind by 2030 to five GW, and specifies the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea for development.

However, space for fixed offshore wind projects may run out in the Irish and Celtic Seas, due to the proximity of the 50-metre contour to the coast.

Floating offshore wind technology allows turbines to be deployed in depths of over 60 metres.

The Emerald project, as the Kinsale development is known, aims to deploy floating turbines in water depths of around 85 to 90m, over 35km from the coast, according to the company.

The world’s first commercial floating wind farm, the 30 MW Hywind Scotland project developed by Norwegian energy company Equinor (formerly Statoil) and Masdar off Aberdeen, was commissioned in 2017.

Simply Blue Energy managing director Sam Roch Perks said that Ireland has “massive unrealised potential for offshore wind energy production, particularly on the south and west coasts, and state of the art floating wind technology is the key to unlocking that potential”.

“With a sea area ten times that of our landmass, we have a chance to catch and become a leader in offshore wind energy production both in Europe and globally, allowing us to become the “Green Gulf” of renewable energy,” he said.

Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) chairman Peter Coyle, representing emerging offshore renewable technology, welcomed Simply Blue Energy’s announcement.

Simply Blue Energy’s separate Celtic Sea project with Total involves developing a 96 megawatt (MW) floating wind farm in 70 metres of water about 45km off Pembroke in the Celtic Sea.

It has been named Erebus – both the Greek mythological son of Chaos and name of one of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated North-West passage ships which had been built in Pembroke dockyard in Wales and disappeared in 1848.

The project involves mounting 8 to 12MW turbines on semi-submersible “WindFloat” platforms supplied by Principle Power, with generated energy feeding into an established grid connection at Pembroke.

Published in Power From the Sea
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Irish port of Arklow has beaten Wicklow to become the future operations and maintenance base for SSE Renewables' planned expansion of Ireland's first operating wind farm.

An industry source said, reports Independent.ie, that Arklow had won out chiefly because it was closer to the site than Wicklow Port, while Belfast Port was the most likely construction hub for the project, the source added.

In a joint announcement, SSE and Wicklow County Council said Arklow's south dock will be redeveloped as the base for supporting future operations of Arklow Bank. They expect 80 full-time jobs at the facility once the second phase is completed in 2025.

The existing seven-turbine farm at Arklow Bank - built in 2004 as an early test of offshore technology - currently is Ireland's only offshore wind farm and generates 25 megawatts. That is one-fortieth of one gigawatt, the goal set by the State for Ireland's offshore wind generation by 2025.

The second phase, using more powerful turbines, is designed to generate 520 megawatts using 80 to 100 turbines at the site along a swathe of the Irish Sea some 7 kilometres to 13 kilometres offshore.

However, SSE first must identify a construction hub for assembling the massive turbines. No Republic of Ireland port currently has the capacity to host these operations, which require 80-tonne cranes, reinforced quaysides and large warehouses.

An industry source said Belfast Port was most likely to be the construction hub, although a final decision will be made nearer the planned start of construction in 2023.

For further reading click the newspaper's report here.

Published in Power From the Sea

At A Glance – Cape 31

LOA 9.56 m
Draft 2.45m
Beam 3.1 m
IRC Rating 1.15

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