The Moneypoint site in Co. Clare is to be turned into a “green energy hub”, the ESB has announced today (Friday, April 9).
A range of renewable energy technologies are set to be rolled-out on the Moneypoint site over the next decade, with a planned capacity to power 1.6 million homes.
The plan – named ‘Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint’ – is a multi-billion euro programme and will result in “hundreds of jobs” according to the ESB.
The programme will see the development of the following:
- Renewable enablement – Construction will begin on a €50 million sustainable system support facility – called on synchronous compensator – in the coming weeks, which will be largest of its kind in the world. The facility will enable a higher volume of renewables on the system;
- Floating offshore wind-farm – A floating offshore wind farm of 1,400MW will be developed off the coast of counties Clare and Kerry by ESB and joint venture partners Equinor. Subject to the appropriate consents being granted, the wind farm is expected to be in production within the next decade;
- Wind turbine construction hub – Moneypoint will become a centre for the construction of floating wind turbines. It is expected this will generate a significant number of direct jobs in the Mid-West region. In the longer term, the stated goal is to make the Shannon estuary a “focal point” for the offshore wind industry in Europe;
- Hydrogen energy – ESB’s plans include investment in a “green hydrogen” production, storage and generation facility at Moneypoint towards the end of the decade. This will be used for power generation; heavy goods vehicles in the transport sector; and to help decarbonise a range of industries.
“We have long signaled our intention to cease burning coal at Moneypoint. Today we are unveiling plans for a reimagined Moneypoint, which will not only create hundreds of jobs, but will also help Ireland to meet its climate targets and maintain secure supplies of electricity,” ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said.
Meanwhile, Jim Dollard, the ESB’s executive director for generation and trading, said: “Moneypoint has played a role a critical role in the country’s energy supply for almost 40 years.”
“We are proud that it will continue to have a crucial role in Ireland’s energy future with many benefits for the local community and wider society,” Dollard added.