Irish renewable energy firm Gaelectric has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French company Ideol to build floating offshore wind energy projects in Ireland.
The companies are currently investigating several sites for the development of short-term, pre-commercial, and long-term commercial-scale floating offshore windpower projects. Ideol’s Damping Pool technology will be used for project development.
Ideol's chief executive officer (CEO) Paul de la GUERIVIERE said: “Our industry-transforming Damping Pool technology is perfectly suited to Ireland’s weather and specific sea conditions. It will also use local materials and labour to meet all cost-competitiveness expectations.
“It can be mass-produced using existing local infrastructure and offers all the advantages one can expect from floating offshore wind solutions such as quay-side wind turbine installation and offshore installation using cost-efficient and readily available vessels.”
Gaelectric and Ideol have set an initial goal to develop a turbine array with more than 30MW, which will be followed by multi-gigawatt commercial-scale extensions.
Using its Damping Pool technology, Ideol’s floating foundation can withstand open sea conditions and is one of the only floating sub-structures that can be moored in both shallow and deep waters.
The floating foundation is suitable for the latest extra-large wind turbines and is less invasive on the seabed compared with bottom-fixed foundations.
Gaelectric's founding shareholder Brendan McGrath said that the Irish Government’s offshore renewable energy development plan has a potential to generate 27,000MW from floating offshore wind in Irish coastal waters.
Image: Ideol’s floating foundation for offshore wind energy project. Photo: courtesy of Gaelectric.