Gaelectric and Oriel Windfarm to build €80m wind farm in the Irish Sea

The Dublin-based firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with Irish sustainable energy company Oriel Windfarm to co-develop a 15 megawatt wind farm entailing an investment of €80m.

Gaelectric says that this is a demonstration project will be a first step towards the realisation of a much larger development called the North Irish Sea Array. The company says that the venture has the potential to produce up to 870 MW of wind energy from the Irish Sea.

CEO of Gaelectric Holdings Brendan McGrath said: “Offshore wind speeds, relatively shallow water depth and favourable sea bed conditions, make the Irish Sea an ideal location for offshore wind projects and as a testing ground for offshore wind technologies.

“The presence of a number of established ports on the east coast of Ireland is also a factor which will help attract investment to Ireland.  We are confident that the project will attract leading industry players to the offshore Irish market and will be an important step towards realising the vast potential for renewable generation from the Irish Sea.”

Up to 150 jobs could be created during the construction of the project, with 30 new long term jobs for the North East Region.

The North Irish Sea Array will be the first major offshore renewable energy project to be developed in the Irish Sea since the construction of the Arklow Bank Wind Farm by GE Electricity in 2001.