Irish renewable energy group Gaelectric has partnered with floating offshore wind specialist Ideol to develop floating offshore wind energy projects in Irish waters using Ideol’s patented Damping Pool technology.
Gaelectric and Ideol are investigating several sites in Irish waters for short-term pre-commercial and long-term commercial-scale projects, with an initial objective to develop a 30 megawatt (MW) plus turbine array project, followed by a multi-gigawatt commercial-scale extension on both Irish coasts.
Ideol’s damping pool concept is at the heart of multiple demonstration and pre-commercial floating offshore wind projects in France and Japan, including the Floatgen project currently under construction off the Atlantic coast of France near Saint-Nazaire. Gaelectric is one of Ireland’s leading renewable energy and energy storage groups.
Gaelectric founding shareholder Brendan McGrath said: “In Ireland, we are blessed with significant reserves of wind energy which are having very tangible impacts in driving energy prices down and improving the sustainability of electricity generation. The development of onshore wind projects is well understood.
“However, the potential for offshore generation is enormous and holds the prospect of significant benefits for Ireland. Offshore wind speeds are faster and more consistent. We should also be able to deploy larger turbines with the prospect of moving up to 10MW turbines from the onshore levels which are currently in the region of 2- 3MW.”
The Irish government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan has identified a potential for the generation of 27GW from floating offshore wind in Irish coastal waters. Gaelectric says Ideol’s floating foundation technology “opens up the prospect of creating an enduring, sustainable indigenous industry along the west coast and provides Ireland with the opportunity to rebalance available job opportunities while creating a significant energy hub in western towns and ports.” A fully commercial-scale offshore project of 500MW capacity based on Ideol’s technology has the potential to create up to 2,500 construction jobs with a further 200 in maintenance.