Harnessing clean energy to power Ireland's sustainable future
Source Galileo are progressing the Floating Cork Offshore Wind Farm project in support of the ambition and targets contained within the Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan.
Net Zero by 2050
The Climate Action Plan is underpinned by Ireland’s "Climate and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021". It includes binding commitments for Ireland to reach net-zero no later than 2050.
Large-scale offshore energy projects like Floating Cork will help our nation move toward a more sustainable energy system for future generations, leading to lower carbon levels and cleaner air. It will be another important step in reducing Ireland’s ongoing, unsustainable reliance on imported fossil fuels.
At its nearest point, Floating Cork’s wind turbines will be over 22km off the south coast, lying entirely outside Ireland’s 12nm foreshore limit. This area has been strategically selected to reduce visibility from the coast, limit environmental impacts, and harness stronger wind speeds that are found further offshore. Surveyed water depths across the site average 102m, making the project suitable for floating turbine technology.
Our project team is actively assessing the suitability of a potential array-area that is approximately 270 sq.km in size. Through the development process, this area will undergo ongoing assessment and refinement to limit environmental impacts and optimise design.
When the wind farm design has been optimised and all environmental constraints fully considered and accommodated, it is expected the project will have a capacity of up to 1000MW. This will deliver enough electricity to meet the needs of over 850,000* households and will offset over 1.5 million tonnes** of harmful carbon emissions each year. Based on the 14.7MW offshore wind turbines that are available in the market today, 1000 MW equates to approximately 67 turbines.
Floating Cork Offshore Wind Farm will positively contribute to Ireland’s binding target of a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (from a 2018 baseline) and carbon neutrality by 2050.
A community benefit fund will be established for the project and will be used for the wider economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of the local community. This fund will ensure that there is real and quantifiable financial support made available for use by the local community each year throughout the lifetime of the project.
Not only will Floating Cork Offshore Wind Farm create jobs locally during the construction and operation phase, the project will also contribute towards creating a new nationwide industry for Ireland. This will in turn maximise the economic opportunity arising from the deployment of offshore wind and help with the creation of sustainable blue communities.
By making use of our abundant and renewable wind resource to generate electricity to supply homes and businesses, we will reduce Ireland’s ongoing unsustainable reliance on imported fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. The delivery of clean renewable energy is also required to support a nationally and regionally growing population, and is needed to meet the increasing demand for electricity which is growing year on year.
Utilising wind as a clean and renewable fuel source means we will dramatically reduce our need to burn fossil fuels and reduce our carbon emissions too. It will also help towards maintaining cleaner air and a healthier environment now and for future generations.
Surveys in and around the project will provide a greater understanding of the marine environment, adding to the knowledge base for the area into the future.
*Based on projected installed capacity of 1000MW, capacity factor of 50% and SEAI key statistics 2021 (5,043kWh/household)
**Based on projected annual output of wind farm and SEAI Key Statistics for Electricity, "CO₂ emissions intensity of electricity" (348 gCO₂/kWh)