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ESB Announces Plans for Floating Offshore Wind Farm off Ireland

Irish grid operator ESB has announced plans for its Moneypoint site to be transformed into a green energy hub, where a range of renewable technologies will be deployed over the next decade with the capacity to power 1.6 million homes.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

ESB has announced an new renewable energy program called Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint. At its peak, Moneypoint produced 25% of Ireland’s electricity requirements. Built in the 1980s as a response to problems in acquiring oil supplies, Moneypoint primarily burns coal and has provided continuity of supply and energy security for the country for almost 40 years. Now, the Moneypoint site in County Clare will be transformed into a green energy hub, helping Ireland to become a leader in green energy production.

Moneypoint is one of the deepest ports in Europe which is essential for the project, as the ships delivering wind turbines need to dock in a deep-water port. The presence of the deep-water port at this facility also allows for wind turbines to be brought back on shore for service and maintenance as required. Finally, the deep-water port will allow easy access for ships which will be used to export hydrogen to Europe. 

Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint is a multi-billion Euro programme of significant investments on the site over the next decade resulting in hundreds of jobs, including;

  • Renewable enablement: ESB has already commenced work on transforming Moneypoint into a green energy hub, breaking ground on a new €50m Sustainable System Support facility in the coming weeks – this Synchronous Compensator will be the largest of its kind in the world. This new plant will provide a range of electrical services to the electricity grid which would previously have been supplied by thermal fired power stations. Its operation will enable higher volumes of renewables on the system.
  • Moneypoint Floating Offshore wind farm: A floating offshore wind farm of 1,400 MW will be developed off the coast of Counties Clare and Kerry in two phases by ESB and joint venture partner, Norwegian energy company Equinor. Once complete, the wind farm will be capable of powering more than 1.6m homes in Ireland. Subject to the appropriate consents being granted, the wind farm is expected to be in production within the next decade.
  • A wind turbine construction hub: Moneypoint will become a centre for the construction and assembly of floating wind turbines. A deep-water port already exists at the site, making it an ideal staging ground for the construction of the wind farm. It is expected this will generate a significant number of direct jobs in the Mid-West region. In the longer term, the development of Moneypoint will support wider plans of Shannon Foynes port, and working with local stakeholders, help make the Shannon Estuary a focal point for the offshore wind industry in Europe.
  • Hydrogen Energy: ESB’s plans include investment in a green hydrogen production, storage and generation facility at Moneypoint towards the end of the decade. A clean, zero-carbon fuel, green hydrogen will be produced from renewable energy and used for power generation, heavy goods vehicles in the transport sector and to help decarbonise a wide range of industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics and cement manufacturing.

Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, said: “ESB’s Brighter Future strategy is anchored in our ambition to lead the transition to a low-carbon energy future, powered by clean electricity. The transformation of Moneypoint into a green energy hub will be a major step in achieving this and will bring huge benefits to the Mid-West and beyond. We have long signaled our intention to cease burning coal at Moneypoint. Today we are unveiling plans for a reimagined Moneypoint, which will not only create hundreds of jobs, but will also help Ireland to meet its climate targets and maintain secure supplies of electricity into the future.”

Windfair Editors
ESB, Ireland, hub, offshore, wind farm, floating, port, deep water, construction, Moneypoint, site, electricity, Europe, hydrogen, ships

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