Shell has signed an agreement with Irish leading blue economy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51 percent share of their Western Star venture, which seeks to develop a floating wind farm off the Clare coast in Ireland.
This follows a similar agreement earlier this year to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland. The Western Star Joint Venture will be developed by Simply Blue Group personnel and Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based at Simply Blue Group Headquarters in Cork.
The project aims to harness the vast floating wind potential in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland. The joint venture will seek to co-develop up to 1.35GW in total: 300MW-450MW in the first phase with 700MW-900MW to follow. This is equivalent to powering over one million Irish homes.
“Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success for both the Western Star floating wind project and the previously announced Emerald project, which is why we have chosen to work with Simply Blue Group,” Hessel de Jong, Offshore Wind General Manager Europe, Shell, said in a statement.
Floating wind technology can be installed in deeper waters than fixed wind turbines allowing this project to be placed 35km – 60km offshore, keeping visual impact to a minimum. The first phase of the project could include between 15MW and 18MW turbines.
The Western Star Project will be located at least 35km off the west coast of Co. Clare and will have a total capacity of 1.35 GW, enough to power 1,145,000 homes in Ireland. The innovative floating technology proposed for this project will allow the turbines to be located far from shore and in waters over 100m deep.