Shell has signed an agreement with Irish developer Simply Blue Energy to acquire a 51% share of their Simply Blue Energy Kinsale venture.
The joint venture will see the development of the Emerald Project, a large floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland.
The project is in the early stages and aims to exploit the vast floating wind potential in the Irish part of the Celtic Sea.
300MW of installed capacity is planned initially, with the potential to scale-up to a total installed capacity of 1GW.
This is equivalent to powering 800,000 Irish homes or the capacity of the Moneypoint power station, Ireland’s largest electricity generation station.
The joint venture will be operated by Simply Blue Energy supported by Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based in the Cork City Docklands rejuvenation area.
Depending on the size of the turbines selected, the first phase of the project will include between 15 and 25 turbines.
Simply Blue Energy said the assembly, installation and deployment of these turbines could "stimulate hundreds of high-quality jobs in the local supply chain".
Sam Roch-Perks, CEO at Simply Blue Energy said the company is delighted to work with Shell.
"This announcement represents an important milestone in the ability of the Emerald project to ensure the Government meets its climate target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030," he said.
Colin Crooks, VP Offshore Wind, Shell said:
"At Shell, we aim to build an integrated power business spanning electricity generation, trading and supply.
"This project could provide green power to consumers and businesses alike and contribute towards Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050, or sooner.
"Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success and this is why we have chosen and look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy who are rooted in the local community."
Speaking to members of Cork Chamber of Commerce at a virtual meeting this morning, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney welcomed the news.
"It’s hugely welcome. There are many others as well that are planning for offshore wind, whether that’s on the east coast or whether it’s on the south and west coast in terms of floating platforms and floating technology," he said,
"It’s now very much part of Government policy to actually be a global leader in terms of offshore winds, offshore energy generally but in particular wind which is the technology that’s taking off now."