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November 19, 2021

Shell to acquire 51% stake in floating wind project in Ireland

The floating wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power more than one million Irish homes.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

Shell has signed an agreement with Irish renewable energy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51% stake in the Western Star venture, which plans to develop a floating wind facility off Ireland’s Clare coast.

The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The 1.3GW floating wind project will be developed by Simply Blue Group and Shell personnel in two phases.

The joint venture team plans to develop 300MW-450MW of capacity in the project’s first phase, while the second phase will involve installing 700MW-900MW of additional capacity.

Upon completion, the project will have the capacity to deliver enough clean energy to power more than one million Irish homes.

It could also reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuel imports for electricity production.

Simply Blue Group co-founder and chief commercial director Hugh Kelly said: “There is tremendous wind potential off the West Coast of Ireland and Simply Blue Group are delighted to partner once again with Shell to jointly develop the Western Star project.

“The project will utilise floating offshore wind technology to produce zero-carbon electricity and will greatly help Ireland progress towards a green energy future with domestically sourced sustainable electricity, delivering both environmental and economic benefits to the entire country.”

Shell said that the assembly and deployment of these turbines could create jobs in the local supply chain.

With this project, Shell and Simply Blue Group aim to make use of the Atlantic Ocean’s potential for floating wind energy.

Earlier this year, the two firms partnered to develop the Emerald floating wind project off Ireland’s south coast.

Shell Europe Offshore Wind general manager Hessel de Jong said: “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.”

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