Energy company Shell is to buy a stake in a venture seeking to build a floating wind farm off the coast of Clare.
The company has signed an agreement with Simply Blue Group, whose headquarters are in Cork, to acquire a 51 per cent share of its Western Star venture.
The project is targeting up to 1.35 gigawatt (GW) of energy, enough to power more than 1.1 million Irish homes, with 300-450 megawatt (MW) expected in the first phase.
The Western Star Project will be located some 35km off the west coast of Co Clare. The proposed technology will allow turbines to be located in waters over 100m deep.
Experts from Shell will work with Simply Blue Group on the Western Star venture, and the project office will be based at Simply Blue Group’s Cork office.
Co-founder and chief commercial director of Simply Blue Group, Hugh Kelly, said there was tremendous wind potential off the west coast of Ireland.
“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,” he said. “Simply Blue Group are committed to developing floating offshore wind projects in Ireland.”
This is the second such deal that Shell has struck with Simply Blue, with a similar agreement earlier this year to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland.
"Shell has a clear ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society," said Shell's offshore wind general manager in Europe, Hessel de Jong. "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."