Danish clean energy company Ørsted has entered a partnership agreement with Irish utility ESB to develop an offshore wind portfolio in Ireland.

Ørsted and ESB will deliver 5GW of renewable energy and complementary renewable hydrogen projects.

The first of the offshore wind projects will compete in Ireland’s next offshore wind auction, ORESS 2.1, as part of the country’s progress towards 7GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Each company will own 50% of the offshore wind development portfolio.

Ørsted senior vice-president and UK and Ireland head Duncan Clark stated: “With a strong Irish onshore portfolio already in place, we are delighted to begin our journey in the Irish offshore market with ESB, the company that brought electricity to Ireland and that today plays a leading role on the path to net zero.

“This partnership combines complementary strengths relevant to development in this market and creates an ideal platform for Ørsted to bring its global expertise in the delivery of offshore wind to bear in Ireland.”

The partners will also explore opportunities to produce renewable hydrogen from offshore wind projects in the long run.

In May 2023, Ireland’s Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Communications selected four offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 3.1GW under the first offshore wind auction ORESS 1.

The four projects will generate 12 terawatt-hours of renewable energy annually, enough to power 2.5 million Irish homes and equivalent to more than a third of the country’s total electricity needs in 2023.