Ireland: $35 million floating wind project gets green light

A 31 million euro ($35.32 million) floating wind project off the west coast of Ireland has been granted approval.

In an announcement Wednesday, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) said that plans were in place for the deployment and testing of a “full-scale floating wind turbine.”

The turbine will be located at a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) test site near the town of Belmullet, County Mayo, by 2022.

EMEC is leading the project, and partnering with the SEAI, Italian business Saipem, and several other organisations in Germany, France, Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands. The project has secured funding from Interreg North-West Europe to speed up the uptake of floating offshore wind technologies.

“Over the past 15 years EMEC has hosted more ocean energy technologies at its real sea test berths in the U.K. than any other facility in the world,” EMEC’s commercial director, Oliver Wragg, said in a statement.

“We have developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can now be transferred to the testing and demonstration of floating offshore wind to help it make the most cost effective and rapid transition to commercialisation,” Wragg added.

European offshore wind capacity increased by 18 percent in 2018, according to statistics from trade body WindEurope. Europe installed 2.6 gigawatts of new offshore capacity, with 15 new offshore wind farms coming online.

Europe is already home to the planet’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland. The 30-megawatt facility is made up of five turbines and started production in October 2017.


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