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Simply Blue Energy have announced a new joint venture partnership with Shell to identify options for development of Emerald, a 1.3GW floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland in the Celtic Sea

This partnership combines unique expertise in floating offshore wind. Pioneering developers Simply Blue Energy are leading the way in the deployment of floating wind in the British Isles. Shell brings over 50 years of experience in the offshore environment alongside floating wind expertise. 

The Emerald Project, situated in the Celtic Sea off the south coast of Ireland, will utilise cutting-edge Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology to construct a wind farm which, upon completion, will have a total installed capacity of up to 1.3 GW. This is equivalent to powering 800,000 Irish homes or the capacity of the Moneypoint power station, Ireland’s largest electricity generation station.

The proposed project could transform the maritime area that previously was home to the Kinsale gas platform into a zone where renewable energy is produced from the wind. The project will also help Ireland to improve energy security and decarbonize the energy supply while playing an important role in helping the Irish government to meet its climate target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The use of floating technologies allows wind turbines to be located in deeper waters than fixed-bottom turbines. This allows the turbines to be placed further from shore (35-60km offshore) which will reduce visual impacts and gain access to better wind speeds.

The partnership between Simply Blue Energy and Shell is committed to listening to the voice of coastal communities, welcomes engagement with local businesses and will work with the Irish supply chain.

Simply Blue Energy brings a deep local knowledge and floating expertise to the venture while Shell brings 20 years of heritage in offshore wind and the ability to develop and operate large complex projects. Shell have invested in floating technologies such as Principle Power and Tetraspar and their acquisition of EOLFI in 2019 brought additional floating wind capabilities into the group alongside the Groix Belle Isle project in France. 

The Emerald Project will initially comprise of a 300MW array, before scaling up to a 1.3GW offshore floating wind farm. This stepping-stone approach presents an opportunity to develop the local supply-chain.