News

Read our Latest News

  • Students ‘Shooting the Breeze’ as a sustainable new world

    Europe’s largest port Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to explore development of European green fuels supply chain corridor

  • Shooting the Breeze Short Film Finalists Announced

    Europe’s largest port Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to explore development of European green fuels supply chain corridor

  • Europe’s largest port Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes

    Europe’s largest port Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to explore development of European green fuels supply chain corridor

  • SHOOTING THE BREEZE

    Shannon Foynes Port Company hosting Five Days of Events for the Annual Irish Port Safety Week

  • Irish ports safety week 2023

    Shannon Foynes Port Company hosting Five Days of Events for the Annual Irish Port Safety Week

  • RTE Nationwide on a recent visit to Foynes
     
    RTE NATIONWIDE FOYNES PROGRAMME
     

    Click to view Nationwide Programme on Foynes

  • ESB and Shannon Foynes Announcement

    ESB and Shannon Foynes Port announce support for floating offshore wind research at UCC

  • Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report

    Link to Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report.

  • ESB and Shannon Foynes Port to deepen partnership
    ESB and Shannon Foynes Port to deepen partnership as transformation of Shannon Estuary into international green energy hub gathers pace
     

     • Organisations commit to work in tandem to develop region into a major centre for the deployment of floating offshore wind projectsnot at pace required for such an opportunity

     

    The opportunity to transform the Shannon Estuary into an international renewable energy hub has been further validated today by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ESB and Shannon Foynes Port, the company with statutory jurisdiction over all marine activities on the estuary.

    The MOU aims to support the transformation of Shannon Estuary and surrounding areas into a major centre for the deployment of floating offshore wind projects in Irish and International waters.

    In the agreement, Shannon Foynes Port and ESB have committed to working closely together to maximise the unique potential of the Shannon Estuary thanks to its mix of deepwater, development lands, low-lying shoreline, and proximity to what is one of the world’s most consistent wind resources off Ireland’s west coast.

    The MOU follows the publication late last year of Shannon Foynes Port’s Vision 2041 masterplan for the wider estuary, which set out a clear strategy to transform the estuary into one of the world’s leading green energy hubs. It identified three key growth areas for the estuary, namely delivering floating offshore wind at international scale, green industrial development transition, and expanded, diversified and more sustainable logistics services.

    ESB is currently undertaking a multi-billion-euro redevelopment project at its Moneypoint site to include significant amounts of offshore wind coupled with the production of hydrogen and other green derivatives. As an enabler to the Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project, an offshore wind construction hub will be developed which will facilitate the fabrication and assembly of floating offshore wind platforms.

    The MOU is in line with the identification in Shannon Foynes Port’s masterplan of the development of four core facilities at the estuary to support the delivery of floating offshore wind at scale. These included substructure assembly at Moneypoint, as well as turbine integration and pre-commissioning at Foynes port, wet storage at various locations within the estuary and an Operations & Maintenance base also at Foynes.

    Shannon Foynes Port’s plans centre on the development of a new deep water port at Foynes  Island, which will be linked directly to the national transport network via a direct restored rail and new road link.

    Under this MOU, the parties will collaborate to ensure that ESB’s Green Atlantic@Moneypoint project and the port authority’s projects will be developed in a coordinated manner in the national interest with a common goal of maximising the opportunity for the estuary and wider Mid-West region.

    Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works and the Gaeltacht, Patrick O’Donovan TD, said: “As Ireland continues to develop transformational renewable energy projects in order to meet our ambitious climate action targets, I am delighted to be here today to see the plans that ESB and Shannon Foynes Port have to realise the potential of the Shannon Estuary and wider region as a hub for clean energy.”

    Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Niall Collins TD, said: “This MOU is a welcome commitment that is aligned with Government’s climate action targets and demonstrates the importance that renewable energy projects, such as floating offshore wind, will play in Ireland’s clean energy future. I look forward to seeing how this partnership will help transform Shannon Estuary into a renewable energy hub that will be recognised worldwide.”

    Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Kieran O'Donnell TD, said: “Offshore wind will play a crucial role in Ireland achieving its climate change ambitions so I am delighted to be here today to welcome this agreement between ESB and Shannon Foynes Port. This will not only bring significant social and economic benefits to the Mid-West but it also places Shannon Estuary at the centre of Ireland’s renewable energy transition.”

    Paul Lennon, Head of Offshore Wind and Hydrogen at ESB, said: “We are delighted to partner with Shannon Foynes Port to help deliver on our ambitious plans for floating offshore wind. As ESB transforms its generation portfolio with projects such as Green Atlantic@ Moneypoint, this collaboration builds on our commitment to delivering renewables projects in the Mid-West region. It is an important step in ESB’s efforts to deploy the latest technologies and infrastructure as we play a crucial role in Ireland’s transition to net zero.”

    Shannon Foynes Port CEO, Pat Keating, said: “As the maritime authority for the Estuary, we are focused on ensuring the unrivalled opportunity arising from one of the world’s best wind regimes and proximity of our deep waters is maximized for the national interest. The ESB through its Green Atlantic@Moneypoint project is a key constituent in the transformation of the wider estuary and we look forward to doing whatever we can to ensure this essential project is realized.”

    Ireland's offshore wind energy potential arising from our Atlantic seaboard winds is among Europe’s leading renewable energy opportunities. With a maritime area more than seven times the size of its landmass, ideal wind conditions, and strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean's edge, floating offshore wind generation can deliver up to 30 gigawatts of energy by 2050 – six times more than current domestic electricity demand.

    The MOU supports the Government’s Climate Action Plan. While non-exclusive in nature, the agreement sets out both organisations’ intention to work together for the benefit of achieving Irish offshore renewable energy targets, in line with ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy and Shannon Foynes Port’s Vision 2041 masterplan.

    ENDS/

  • Supergrid Super Solution Foynes
    Power for delivering on Ireland’s “greatest  opportunity”, floating offshore wind, must move to Dept. of Taoiseach
     

    Delivery not at pace required for such an opportunity

    Ireland targets 5GW by 2030 but has 100 times capacity of Germany, which targets 40GW by 2035

    Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Responsibility for harnessing “the greatest opportunity in the history of the State” - floating wind energy generation on the Atlantic seaboard – should be handed to the Department of the Taoiseach, a gathering of renewable industry experts has heard.

    The consensus from industry experts at University of Limerick for the regional launch of renewable energy pioneer Eddie O’Connor’s book Supergrid Super Solution – co-authored with journalist Kevin O’Sullivan – was that while the opportunity for environmental, economic and social transformation from Europe’s best wind resource is unprecedented for the State, the pace of delivery is alarmingly slow.

    The Airtricity and Mainstream founder and champion of the European Supergrid concept through his SuperNode Ltd company was supported in his call at the event for shifting responsibility to the Department of the Taoiseach for realising Ireland’s opportunity to  become one of the world’s leading renewable energy players.

    “We have an opportunity now that is the greatest in the history of the State. Ireland has the capacity to supply 10% of Europe’s power by 2050 and much more beyond that. Right now, we’re not too dissimilar to the Middle East in the 1940s when it began its oil and gas journey. That has made nations like Saudi Arabia global financial powerhouses and that’s what Ireland can become. The big difference is our energy is green and it’s the solution the world  is waiting for.

    “By way of example, we have 100 times more offshore territory than Germany and far greater winds and yet they have an ambition for 40GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2035, with 1GW alone enough to power 1 million homes. Our ambition in Ireland, by comparison, is to deliver 5GW by 2030. So, what does that say?”

    To accelerate pace of delivery here, Mr O’Connor said that responsibility needs to move to where the power is, the Taoiseach’s office. “What we must do straightaway is get over the bureaucratic inertia. We need real power to be brought to this equation. And to me, the Department of the Taoiseach and the chief civil servant there is where the power rests and where this must be delivered from. The Department has the power to tell secretaries in other departments what to do. Power used benignly, in the interests of the long-term goals of Ireland, is the great function of the department of the Taoiseach.”

    He continued: “We've proposed this move and I think we're getting there. If you compare Ireland now with what it was like five years ago, we've moved a gigantic distance, but we need to move another gigantic distance.” Regarding his proposal for a European  Supergrid, Mr O’Connor said: “You can't decarbonise without a super grid. Where are the resources? The resources are here in Ireland. They're not in Germany. They're certainly not in Poland, not in Eastern countries of Europe. They don’t have the resources, we and the Mediterranean, with its solar opportunities, have. So, let’s link it together and we have a perfect, limitless bank of energy with incredible synergies. When the sun isn’t shining, the wind is generating and vice versa.”

    Mr O’Connor’s comments were roundly supported at the event. Said Dr. Val Cummins, Ireland Director at Simply Blue Group: “The fundamental question is how can we progress faster? This is a massive opportunity in terms of floating offshore, in terms of port development, in terms of grid, the transmission system and alternative routes to market. There's so much work being done on all those elements. But fundamentally, this work needs to be matched by a system of delivery.

    "There’s an industry view that we're not managing to deliver. And I think Eddie O’Connor's recommendations in relation to transforming the architecture of the system, such that it's fit for purpose to deliver, is a key point. We showed we could do it for COVID. That was a crisis at that time. Climate continues to be a crisis. And I think the take home is it's time for action to prime floating offshore wind.”

    Said John Fitzgerald, CEO of SuperNode: “The ambition to do 30, 40 or even 70 gigawatts off the West Coast is not matched by government mandates on the agencies they direct. So, until they're joined up, we're really going to struggle to realise the potential.”

    Said Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company, which has maritime responsibility for the Shannon Estuary, which will be a key staging post for development of the floating offshore wind fields: “We have a huge resource on our doorstep here, climate action is happening so we have an obligation even more so than an opportunity. Other countries that don't potentially have the same offshore opportunity as us will locate the supply chain in their countries and we lose out then on the big value-add opportunity and literally tens of thousands of jobs. This is just too big for us as a nation not to grab but time is not on our side actually and we need to get moving.”

    ---End---

    The Supergrid Super Solution book is available from SupergridSuperSolution.com and good book shops online and offline. The Press Pack can be downloaded from SupergridSuperSolution.com . This also includes this news release, a two-page summary of the book, the book cover, photos of the authors and a 16-page summary of the book’s key points. For further information or to arrange an interview with Eddie O’Connor, contact: Philip McCann t: 00 353 86 075 7936 e: philip.mccann@supernode.energy

Scroll to Top