4C Offshore Empowering Intelligence

Monumental breakthrough for Irish offshore wind

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 11/05/2023 GOV.IE

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has today welcomed the provisional results of the first offshore wind auction under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1). The results mark a breakthrough moment for Ireland’s offshore wind future.

ORESS is an auction based process which invites renewable energy projects to compete against each other, by bidding as low as possible, in order to win contracts to provide electricity at the bid price for a twenty year period.

Below is a list of ORESS 1 provisionally successful applicants:

- Successful project:
Dublin Array, 824 MW, with the successful applicant(s) being Kish Offshore Wind Limited and Bray Offshore Wind Limited. The developers for this project are RWE and Saogus.

- Successful project:
Sceirde Rocks Offshore Wind Farm, 450 MW, with the successful applicant(s) being Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta. The developer for this project is Corio Generation.

- Successful project:
North Irish Sea Array (NISA), 500 MW, with the successful applicant(s) being North Irish Sea Array Windfarm Limited. The developers for this project are Statkraft and  Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

- Successful project:
Codling Wind Park, 1,300 MW, with the successful applicant(s) being Codling Wind Park Limited. The developers for this project are Fred. Olsen and EDF.

The auction results have surpassed expectations, both in terms of the total volume of renewable energy procured and the low price at which it has been secured. The competitive price secured, at an average of €86.05 MWh, is one of the lowest prices paid by an emerging offshore wind market in the world. For comparison, the average wholesale electricity price in Ireland over the past 12 months was in excess of €200 MWh. It is expected that this price will save Irish electricity consumers hundreds of millions of euros per year.

Over 3 GW of capacity has been procured from four offshore wind projects, which will deliver over 12 terawatt hours of renewable electricity per year. This is the largest volume of renewable energy Ireland has ever procured at auction, equivalent to over a third of Ireland’s entire electricity consumption this year and over a quarter of projected 2030 electricity demand. It is also enough to power over 2.5 million Irish homes with renewable electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 1 million tons in 2030.

Unsuccessful bidders for the Arklow 2 project include SSE Renewables, while sources indicate that the Oriel project, being developed by Parkwind and ESB, also did not succeed in the bidding process.

Welcoming the provisional results, Minister Ryan said: "The provisional results of the ORESS 1 auction are not just a hugely positive story for Irish energy consumers, but for Ireland as a whole. The results are further evidence of what many of us have known for a long time; that we, as a nation, can develop and produce enormous quantities of clean energy – securely and at low cost."

Minister Ryan continued: "My Department is developing further offshore wind auctions to bring us closer to this energy-independent future, while also chairing the whole-of-Government Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce to maximise the benefits to the economy, local communities, and the environment."

The results announced today are provisional and are subject to the normal RESS confirmation and State Aid processes, both of which are expected to be complete by mid June, as per EirGrid’s published auction timetable.

Under the community benefit fund provisions of ORESS 1, the successful projects are required to make payments to local marine and coastal communities hosting offshore renewable energy projects. These communities will now benefit from over €24 million per year, beginning before construction and continuing for up to 20 years after a project begins to produce renewable energy.

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


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