Wind energy – withdrawal
Equinor has confirmed that it is ceasing its involvement with the project to develop offshore wind electricity generation capacity off the coast of Ireland in partnership with the ESB.
Equinor had been working with the ESB since 2019 to identify and build a portfolio of offshore projects around the east, south and west coasts.
However, Equinor has decided to stop its early phase offshore wind activities in Ireland.
The ESB said it was disappointed by the decision but that it in no way diminishes the ambition of ESB to deliver an offshore wind portfolio of scale in our home market.
“Equinor has conveyed that they were very impressed with ESB’s professionalism and capability and that they wish ESB every success as they continue to develop a portfolio of offshore wind projects in Irish waters,” the ESB statement said.
According to Equinor there were several reasons for its decision not to proceed with its Irish plans and that such a decision was not unusual.
The ESB said it remains fully committed to developing and delivering a major portfolio of offshore wind projects in Irish waters following the decision.
Wind Energy Ireland expressed its regret at Equinor’s decision, but said it underlines what industry has been warning for some time about the slow pace of planning and regulatory reform.
“We are confident we will deliver offshore wind energy in large volumes and get projects connected before the end of the decade,” said Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland.
“But this decision simply underlines what we have been saying for some time. We are not reforming Ireland’s planning and regulatory framework quickly enough to develop the offshore wind we will need to meet the targets in the Climate Action Plan.”
“This is leading to a lack of confidence in the industry and our international supply chain that Government must address,” he added.