Saoirse will be the first full-scale wave energy conversion test and demonstration project in Ireland. It will prove the viability of wave energy converter technology through long term deployment in the harsh, energetic conditions of the North Atlantic. The predictability and consistency of wave energy has long been recognised as a massive potential renewable resource, allowing balancing of grid demand while delivering on our responsibility and commitments to move away from fossil fuel energy production.
The Saoirse project will show that wave energy technology is finally reaching maturity and allow Ireland to be first movers into this exciting new clean energy generation space. The enormous potential for wave energy production along our west coast as a consequence of our exposed Atlantic location, along with massive floating wind energy potential, presents a unique opportunity to create a balanced, mixed supply of fully renewable energy. This can make Ireland a global powerhouse of green energy supply, both for the domestic market and for export abroad.
Floating wind foundations are normally used in deep waters where fixed foundations are no longer economically feasible. Space for fixed foundations is scarce in many countries (including the UK) as development of fixed wind projects has been happening for the last 15 years. WindEurope estimates 80% of the wind resource in Europe is in waters beyond 60m deep. Therefore, it is clear that floating wind is going to play a very important role in the development of offshore wind pipelines in many countries including Scotland.
Scotland is a pioneer in floating offshore wind having deployed the first floating array in the world, the Hywind Scotland project. In addition to this project, Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm Phase 1 and Phase 2 have recently been deployed bringing the combined capacity of floating offshore wind in Scotland to 80MW. The recently launched ScotWind commercial leasing round is underway in Scotland by which Crown Estate Scotland will grant property rights for seabed in Scottish waters for approximately 10GW of new commercial scale offshore wind project development. It is expected that some of these projects will use floating wind foundations with most of these becoming operational post 2030 and on a scale of circa 1GW each.
Given previous projects have not yielded the expected supply chain benefits for Scotland, there is a need for pre-commercial stepping-stone projects to get ready for ScotWind. The Salamander project aims to bridge the development gap between the current operational floating wind projects and ScotWind projects.
This project will help to prove the viability of WEC technology off our West Coast to allow Ireland to become first movers in this cutting-edge green energy space.
Wave energy is a clean, sustainable, and renewable energy source which will help Ireland reach its targets on greenhouse gas emissions and aid in the fight against climate change.
We aim to use this demonstration project as a stepping-stone in the progression towards co-located floating wind energy and wave energy projects, balancing the grid, and securing Ireland’s energy future.
About Simply Blue Group
Simply Blue Group, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, is a leading blue economy developer focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean ocean energy. It develops pioneering blue economy projects – offshore wind, sustainable e-Fuels, marine energy, carbon dioxide removal and low-impact aquaculture – all in harmony with the oceans. The company has a pipeline of over 10GW of offshore wind projects across the globe.
Simply Blue Group is committed to creating new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and developing projects that co-exist with sustainable fisheries and marine conservation. With a passionate team of over 100 people, Simply Blue Group has offices in Cork, Dublin, Newquay, Pembrokeshire, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Bilbao, Oregon and Nova Scotia.
To find out more about our blue economy projects, please visit www.simplybluegroup.com
ESB was established in 1927 as a statutory body under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927. With a holding of 96.9%, ESB is majority owned by the Irish Government. The remaining 3.1% is held by the trustees of an Employee Share Ownership Plan. As a strong, diversified utility, ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is a leading Irish utility with a 30% share of generation in the all-island market and supply businesses supplying electricity and gas to over 2 million customer accounts throughout the island of Ireland and Great Britain. During the year ended 31 December 2022, ESB Group employed an average of over 8,000 people.