Equinor has decided to stop its early phase offshore wind activities in Ireland due to regulatory uncertainty, according to its partner ESB.
The Norwegian energy giant signed a cooperation agreement with Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in 2019 to identify and develop a portfolio of offshore projects around the east, south and west coasts of Ireland.
The major project between the partners involved the transformation of Moneypoint coal-fired power station into a new green energy hub, which would include a 1.4 GW floating offshore wind farm, a deepwater construction yard, hydrogen storage, and power management station.
“We have reviewed the market situation and potential investments in line with our strategy to develop profitable growth in renewables and decided not to pursue our offshore wind activities in Ireland at this stage,” Equinor spokesperson said.
ESB added, however, that it remains fully committed to developing and delivering its portfolio of offshore wind projects in Irish waters despite Equinor’s decision, as significant preparation work, including foreshore licence applications, has been completed.
“While ESB is disappointed with the decision by Equinor to withdraw from Irish offshore wind development, this in no way diminishes the ambition of ESB to deliver an offshore wind portfolio of scale in our home market. The ESB team is making strong progress on the development work associated with an exciting multi-GW portfolio of projects. The first of these projects, Oriel Wind Farm in partnership with Parkwind, will enter into the first offshore wind renewable auction in 2022,” Irish utility said in a statement.