Plans are in motion to establish a floating offshore wind farm off the Cork coast.
Simply Blue Energy are looking to install 67 wind turbines off the coast of Kinsale, in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas field which is currently being decommissioned.
The developers say that it would “harness the enormous wind potential of the Celtic Sea” and would enable Ireland to “reduce its dependence on foreign fossil fuel imports”.
An application has been submitted to the Department for a license to carry out initial site investigations.
The proposed development, Emerald, should it be green-lit, would be developed in a phased manner, starting with the deployment of six or seven turbines, building to 67 in total on completion.
The wind farm would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 803,000 Irish homes.
Wind turbines can be deployed much deeper offshore, with the Emerald project deploying this technology in water depths of around 85 to 90 metres, over 35km from the coast.
Sam Roch-Perks, Managing Director of Simply Blue Energy Ltd said: “Ireland has massive unrealised potential for offshore wind energy production, particularly on the south and west coasts, and state of the art floating wind technology is the key to unlocking that potential.
“With a sea area 10 times that of our land mass, we have a chance to catch and become a leader in offshore wind energy production both in Europe and globally, allowing us to become the “Green Gulf” of renewable energy,” he added.
A 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions is the target for the new Government, while a target of 5 GW has been set for offshore wind energy production by 2030.
Dr Val Cummins, a leading figure in offshore wind in Ireland and UCC lecturer, said: “With the new Programme for Government here in Ireland, offshore wind energy production and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions have been given renewed focus. Innovative and ambitious offshore wind energy projects such as this are vital to help us meet our goals and ensure our children benefit from a sustainable future.”
The company behind the plans have also said the approach being taken with the development is to encourage local businesses to grow, bringing as many jobs to the local area as possible.