German power giant RWE added a second project to its offshore wind interests in Ireland as major international players continue to line up behind the nation’s ambitions in the sector.
RWE has bought Power Offshore Developments, the company behind the early-stage East Celtic Wind Farm project off Wexford and Waterford in Ireland’s southeast that it said could support up to 900MW of turbines.
The German group already has a presence in Ireland as co-developer with Saorgus Energy of the up-to-900MW Dublin Array, and claimed the latest acquisition makes it a “key partner” of the Irish government, which has a target to move from just 25MW in the water now to 7GW by 2030 as part of stretching wider green energy ambitions.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO wind offshore at RWE Renewables, said: “The acquisition of the East Celtic wind farm project is a significant step in the growth of RWE’s Irish offshore business. East Celtic is targeting inclusion in Ireland’s offshore Phase 2 round and could be invaluable in contributing to the Irish government’s 80% renewable energy target by 2030.”
RWE stressed that the new addition to its portfolio, which is sited 9-36km offshore, is at the early development stage “and important decisions have yet to be made, from the overall size of the wind farm to turbine locations, cable routes and land-based developments”. Consultations will now take place in 2023.
RWE’s doubling down in Ireland is a boost to the sector there, which has seen an influx of international players that also numbers the likes of EDF, Fred Olsen Seawind, SSE, Iberdrola, Corio and Statkraft.
Most recently, EDPR-Engie joint venture Ocean Winds and Irish energy group Bord na Móna forged an offshore wind alliance to advance 2.3GW of projects off Ireland.
Ireland’s charge for growth beyond 2030 – which is expected to lean heavily on floating wind power – has also seen its share of reverses, however, with oil and gas giants Equinor and Shell both pulling out of high-profile floating projects over the last year.