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Demonstration project to kick-start Irish Offshore Energy Revolution

Oriel Windfarm Ltd. and Gaelectric Holdings plc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop a significant offshore wind farm in the north Irish Sea. The North Irish Sea Array (NISA) has the potential to produce up to 870 MW of wind energy from the Irish Sea and will commence with the development of a 15 MW demonstration project entailing an investment of €80million in a new research and development hub for offshore wind energy.

Up to 150 jobs could be created during the construction of the project, with 30 new long term jobs for the North East Region. The North Irish Sea Array will be the first major offshore renewable energy project to be developed in the Irish Sea since the construction of the Arklow Bank Wind Farm by GE Electricity in 2001.

Both Oriel Windfarm and Gaelectric Holdings have been involved in representations to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to extend the feed-in tariff for wave and tidal energy, announced at the Irish Renewable Energy Summit 2015, to offshore wind R&D projects to be capped at 30 MW. The promoters see this as a vital step in incentivising and re-invigorating an industry that has remained stagnant for the last 14 years.

Ireland has one of the largest offshore wind resources in the world.  The Government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, published in 2014, indicated the potential to generate up to 10,000 MW of renewable energy from offshore wind energy. Internationally, offshore wind is the most rapidly growing source of renewable energy. In 2014, 1,500MW of offshore power was deployed around Europe.

 Commenting, Brian Britton, Managing Director of Oriel Windfarm Ltd, said: “This project represents the biggest step forward for the Irish offshore wind energy sector in the last ten years. NISA will commence with a significant demonstration project which, by their nature, draw investment and attract collaborations with local universities and provide opportunities for local businesses. Demonstration projects in the UK, Germany and Denmark have led to the development of full scale projects, leading to the creation of many thousands of jobs in those countries.” 


Oriel Windfarm Ltd  is an Irish owned and operated sustainable energy company established to develop offshore wind farms in Ireland. The company's first project is the development of a 55 turbine wind farm in the North Irish Sea, delivering a total of 330 MW of clean renewable energy.  The Oriel Windfarm license area lies 22km off the coast of Dundalk, Co Louth, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ireland.

Gaelectric Holdings - Gaelectric is a renewable energy group specialising in the development and operation of renewable energy assets and energy storage projects. Since its establishment in 2004, Gaelectric has developed out an extensive portfolio of renewable energy projects in a number of key markets. Gaelectric's business is centred on project development and operation across the sustainable energy spectrum.  

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power