CORK, Ireland – Shell has agreed to acquire a 51% interest in the Simply Blue Energy Kinsale venture.
This was established to develop the Emerald project, a floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea, off southern Ireland.
Simply Blue Energy will operate the venture with support from Shell’s floating wind specialists. The project will be managed from offices in the Cork City Docklands rejuvenation area.
Emerald is close to the Kinsale offshore gas fields, currently undergoing decommissioning. The initial plan is for 300 MW of installed floating wind capacity, later potentially scaled-up to 1 GW.
That would be sufficient to power 800,000 homes in Ireland, equivalent to the capacity of Moneypoint, the country’s largest electricity generation station.
Simply Blue Energy points out that floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines. In this case the planned location is 35-60 km (21.7-37 mi) offshore.
Depending on the size of turbines selected, the first phase could include 15-25 turbines, involving installation and deployment by the local supply chain.
Long-term operations and maintenance of the turbines could be served by companies operating in Cork Harbour.