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Shell snaps up majority stake in floating offshore wind farm

A Shell logo sits on a sign at a gas station, operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc., in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
A Shell logo sits on a sign at a gas station, operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc., in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Shell has signed an agreement to take on a majority stake in a planned floating wind farm off the south coast of Ireland.

Simply Blue Energy has agreed to hand over 51% of its Simply Blue Energy Kinsale venture, which was set up to create the Emerald project, to the oil and gas giant.

It will be operated by the Irish developer, supported by Shell floating wind experts, with the project office based in the Cork City Docklands.

The Emerald project will will use state-of-the-art renewable floating wind-powered generators positioned in the Celtic Sea.

It is still in the early stages of development, with 300 megawatts of installed capacity planned initially, with the potential to scale-up to 1 gigawatt (GW) – the equivalent of powering 800,000 homes.

Depending on the size of turbines selected, the first phase of the project will include between 15 and 25 turbines.

Simply Blue Energy claims the assembly, installation and deployment of the project could stimulate hundreds of high-quality jobs in the local supply chain.

Colin Crooks, vice-president Offshore Wind at Shell, said: “At Shell we aim to build an integrated power business spanning electricity generation, trading and supply.

“This project could provide green power to consumers and businesses alike and contribute towards Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050, or sooner.

“Working alongside coastal communities to create shared value is key to success and this is why we have chosen and look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy who are rooted in the local community.”

Sam Roch-Perks, chief executive of Simply Blue Energy, said: “Floating wind energy is a major opportunity for Ireland to become a ‘Green Gulf’, by realising the benefits of its vast marine and offshore wind resources without negatively impacting our beautiful coastlines.

“Simply Blue Energy is delighted to work with Shell to further our portfolio of floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. Our shared vision for Emerald is to do the right thing for our stakeholders, the community and the environment. This announcement represents an important milestone in the ability of the Emerald project to ensure the government meets its climate target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.”

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