Minister Coveney visits offshore wind farms in Scotland

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, is in Scotland to visit Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind Farm and the Fraserburgh Operations and Maintenance Centre for Moray East Offshore Wind Farm.

Ireland has an ambition to have 5GW of offshore wind in operation by 2030 with a further 2GW in development. By 2040, the ambition is to have 20GW of offshore wind deployed with the target rising to 37GW by 2050.

Looking for Irish inspiration for offshore wind farms

Speaking during the visit, Minister Coveney said;

“Scotland has already developed several offshore wind farms and there is much we can learn from their experiences.  This visit has been hugely informative in terms of seeing at first hand the technology in operation and hearing from industry experts ahead of publishing our own offshore wind industrial strategy.

“We also discussed the potential for collaboration between Ireland and Scotland on a range of offshore wind-focussed matters such as building a successful supply chain and optimising Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) initiatives.”

Kincardine is 15 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeen and is the largest floating offshore windfarm in the world. Fraserburgh is the nerve centre for the 950MW Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, operated by Ocean Winds.

The visit was facilitated by Bord na Móna and Ocean Winds, who have formed a partnership to leverage Ireland’s offshore wind power resources.  The Minister also met with representatives from Principle Power, who have designed floating platforms for offshore wind turbines and Farra Marine, an Irish company involved in providing crew transfers to the offshore wind farms.

Minister Coveney added;

“The operations centre here in Fraserburgh is a good example of how developments like this can impact positively on a small coastal community, providing jobs and other economic benefits. As we develop wind farms around our coast there will be opportunities for local communities in terms of operating and maintaining these facilities as well as transporting workers to and from installations.”

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is currently developing Ireland’s first Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and it is expected to be published next month. Its publication will be in tandem with the publication of the Offshore Renewable Energy Future Framework Policy Statement by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Further Information

Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm was constructed at what was a symbolic time for the decarbonization of the energy sector in the UK. It’s the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world with the most powerful turbines installed on a floating offshore wind platform. Projects like Kincardine inform the next generation of industrial-scale, cost-competitive floating wind projects in the UK and globally.

Each of the five V164 9.5 MW turbines deployed at the wind farm incorporates three 80 m blades being fabricated at the MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s factory on the Isle of Wight, then painted and finished at its Fawley facility, a decommissioned and repurposed former oil-fired power plant. The turbines are installed on five WindFloat® units fabricated in Spain. The platform-turbine integration took place at Rotterdam port.

Fabrication of the five WindFloat® units started in April 2019. At 50 MW installed capacity in the summer of 2021, and with a pandemic in between, the project showcases the logistical advantages of Principle Power’s technology over other designs. The?WindFloat®’s modular design enables an industrialized supply chain to be mobilized.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

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