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ESB & Shannon Foynes Port join forces in MoU

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 15/05/2023 ESB

ESB and Shannon Foynes Port have deepened their partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The announcement marks a step in the journey to transform the Shannon Estuary into an international renewable energy powerhouse.

This MOU aims to reinforce the two companies' commitment to harnessing the potential of the Shannon Estuary and its surrounding areas, propelling them into a prominent position as a centre for deploying floating offshore wind projects in both Irish and international waters. The agreement signifies a shared vision to leverage the Shannon Estuary's unique attributes, including its deep water, development lands, low lying shoreline, and proximity to one of the world's most consistent wind resources off Ireland's west coast.

This MOU follows the unveiling of Shannon Foynes Port's Vision 2041 master plan for the broader estuary, which laid out a clear strategy to transform the region into a global hub for green energy. The master plan identified three key areas for growth: the implementation of large scale floating offshore wind projects on an international scale, transitioning toward renewable industrial development, and expanding, diversifying, and enhancing sustainable logistics services.

ESB, in the midst of a multi billion euro redevelopment project at its Moneypoint site, is spearheading the Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint initiative. This endeavour combines  offshore wind capacity with the production of hydrogen and other renewables. As part of this project, ESB will establish an offshore wind construction hub to facilitate the assembly and fabrication of floating offshore wind platforms.

This collaboration aligns seamlessly with Shannon Foynes Port's master plan, which envisions the development of four core facilities within the estuary. These include substructure assembly at Moneypoint, turbine integration and pre commissioning at Foynes port, wet storage at various locations within the estuary, and an Operations & Maintenance base, also located at Foynes. At the heart of Shannon Foynes Port's plans lies the creation of a deep water port on Foynes Island, directly linked to the national transport network through a restored rail connection and new road link.

Under this MOU, both entities will collaborate closely to ensure the coordinated development of ESB's Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project and the port authority's initiatives, all in the national interest and with a shared objective of maximizing the potential of the estuary and the broader mid west region.

Ireland's offshore wind energy potential, fuelled by the powerful winds of the Atlantic seaboard, stands among Europe's most promising renewable energy opportunities, states ESB. With a maritime area more than seven times the size of its landmass, favourable wind conditions, and a strategic location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, floating offshore wind generation has the capacity to deliver up to 30 GW of energy by 2050 - six times more than the current domestic electricity demand.

The MOU strongly supports the Government's Climate Action Plan. Although non exclusive in nature, the agreement sets forth the intention of both organizations to collaborate in the pursuit of Irish offshore renewable energy targets, in line with ESB's Net Zero by 2040 strategy and Shannon Foynes Port's Vision 2041 master plan.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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