Shell has signed an agreement with Irish leading blue economy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51% share of their Western Star venture, which seeks to develop a floating wind farm off the Clare coast.
This follows a similar agreement earlier this year to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland. The Western Star Joint Venture will be developed by Simply Blue Group personnel and Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based at Simply Blue Group Headquarters in Cork.
The project aims to harness the vast floating wind potential in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland. The joint venture will seek to co-develop up to 1.35GW in total: 300MW-450MW in the first phase with 700MW-900MW to follow. This is equivalent to powering over one million Irish homes.
Hessel de Jong, Offshore Wind General Manager Europe, Shell, said: “Shell has a clear ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. We aim to provide more renewable power to consumers and businesses alike. Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success for both the Western Star floating wind project and the previously announced Emerald project, which is why we have chosen to work with Simply Blue Group.”
Hugh Kelly, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Director, Simply Blue Group, said, “There is tremendous wind potential off the West Coast of Ireland and Simply Blue Group are delighted to partner once again with Shell to jointly develop the Western Star project. The project will utilise floating offshore wind technology to produce zero-carbon electricity and will greatly help Ireland progress towards a green energy future with domestically sourced sustainable electricity delivering both environmental and economic benefits to the entire country. Simply Blue Group are committed to developing floating offshore wind projects in Ireland.”
Floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines allowing this project to be placed 35km – 60km offshore, keeping visual impact to a minimum. The first phase of the project could include between 15MW and 18MW turbines. The assembly, installation and deployment of these turbines could stimulate hundreds of high-quality jobs in the local supply chain. Long-term operations and maintenance of the turbines will also require local skills and services to support this industry.
About the Western Star Project
The Western Star Project will be located at least 35km off the west coast of Co. Clare and will have a total capacity of 1.35 GW, enough to power 1,145,000 homes in Ireland. The innovative floating technology proposed for this project will allow the turbines to be located far from shore and in waters over 100m deep.
By locating the turbines so far offshore, the visual impact of the wind farm for coastal communities is greatly reduced. Additionally, locating the turbines further out to sea will place the farm in an area of higher wind energy potential. This project will help to reduce Ireland’s dependence on foreign fossil fuel imports, where a large portion of our current electricity production comes from. https://simplyblueenergy.com/westernstar/
About Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions
Shell is building an integrated power business to provide customers with low carbon and renewable energy solutions. The business we are building spans trading, generation and supply and offers integrated energy solutions – from hydrogen, to solar, wind and electric vehicle charging –at scale, while using nature and technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system.www.shell.com/newenergies
About the Simply Blue Group
Simply Blue Group, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, is a leading blue economy developer focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean ocean energy. It develops pioneering blue economy projects – floating offshore wind, wave energy and low-impact aquaculture – all in harmony with the oceans. The company has a pipeline of over 9 GW of floating offshore wind projects, primarily in the waters off Ireland and the UK. Simply Blue Group is committed to creating new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and developing projects that co-exist with sustainable fisheries and marine conservation.
For more, go to www.simplyblueenergy.com or Twitter @SimplyBlueEner1