Shell partners with Simply Blue Energy to develop Emerald Floating wind project
Jan 27, 2021
Shell has signed an agreement with Irish developer Simply Blue Energy to acquire a 51% share of their Simply Blue Energy Kinsale venture, which was set up to develop the Emerald Project, a floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea, off the south coast of Ireland. 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.
This partnership combines the floating wind track-record and local knowledge of Simply Blue Energy with Shell’s offshore experience, floating wind expertise and an ability to develop large complex projects. The Emerald Project is a fantastic example of the energy transition, located in the vicinity of the Kinsale gas fields, currently being decommissioned. This project will use state-of-the-art renewable floating wind-powered generators.
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. This “stepping-stone” approach is designed to build the infrastructure necessary to deliver a project of this scale and ultimately enable Ireland to increase its energy independence, while also reducing emissions.
Floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines allowing this project to be placed 35km – 60km offshore, reducing visual impacts. Depending on the size of turbines selected, the first phase of the project will include between 15 and 25 turbines. The assembly, installation and deployment of these turbines could stimulate hundreds of high-quality jobs in the local supply chain. Long-term operations and maintenance of the turbines will also require local skills and services in Cork Harbour for up to 25 years.
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.”
Sam Roch-Perks, CEO Simply Blue Energy said, “Floating wind energy is a major opportunity for Ireland to become a ‘Green Gulf’, by realising the benefits of its vast marine and offshore wind resources without negatively impacting our beautiful coastlines. Simply Blue Energy is delighted to work with Shell to further our portfolio of floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. Our shared vision for Emerald is to do the right thing for our stakeholders, the community and the environment. 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.”
Shell International Media Relations: +44 (0) 20 7934 5550
AM O Sullivan PR Ltd on behalf of Simply Blue Energy: Ann Marie O Sullivan: 086 8188163; Tina Quinn 087 9881890
Notes to editors:
About the Emerald Project
The Emerald floating offshore wind farm will harness the enormous wind potential of the Celtic Sea to help create a clean, sustainable future while assisting in Ireland’s move towards a green energy revolution. This marks a milestone in the Cork region, which previously benefitted from the supply of natural gas from the Kinsale gas field. The decommissioning of the gas field heralds a new point of departure for the redevelopment of the offshore area for floating wind. The Emerald Project supports Ireland’s need to fight climate change, decarbonise the economy and ensure security of energy supply. Using a stepping-stone approach to facilitate local supply-chain development, the Emerald Project will initially comprise of a 300MW array, before scaling to a 1GW offshore floating wind farm. The use of floating technologies allows these turbines to be located 35-60km from the shore, in waters much deeper than would be possible for bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines, greatly reducing visual impacts on coastal communities. The project is at an early stage of development and will be developed over an eight to ten-year timeline. Progression of the project is dependent on securing all relevant on and offshore governmental and regulatory consents; an appropriate grid connection and a route to market through the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) auction process.
About Shell New Energies
Shell New Energies is building an integrated power business that will provide customers with lowcarbon and renewable energy solutions. The business we are building spans trading, generation and supply and offers integrated energy solutions – from hydrogen, to solar, wind and electric vehicle charging –at scale, while using nature and technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system.
For more information on our Net-zero emissions ambition visit here. With this approach, we want to contribute to achieving a net-zero world, where society stops adding to the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. This supports the most ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global warming to 1.5°Celsius.
Today, Shell’s business plans will not get us to where we want to be. So, in step with society, our business is changing. As well as continuing to supply oil and gas that the world needs, we are working to offer customers more, lower-carbon products, from renewable electricity to hydrogen.
About the Simply Blue group
Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, the Simply Blue group are a leading early-stage developer of transformative and sustainable marine projects in Ireland, the UK and beyond. As a blue economy project developer, Simply Blue aims to deliver long-term sustainable projects through floating wind 3 and wave energy projects and by developing sites for sustainable aquaculture farms. Passionate about the immense potential of the oceans to provide renewable energy and sustainable aquaculture, Simply Blue’s mission is to raise the awareness of this potential, while pioneering marine project development and collaborating with like-minded partners. Simply Blue Energy, part of the Simply Blue group of companies, seeks to engage with coastal communities and support stepping-stone developments, to allow local supply chains flourish, and to create skilled jobs in floating offshore wind projects. The Seller is Emerald Offshore Wind Ltd (affiliate of Simply Blue Energy (FOW) Ltd.
Shell is aiming to build an integrated power business spanning electricity generation, trading and supply.