ESB Equinor Moneypoint – Limerick Chamber has called on Government to fast-track the establishment of its planned Shannon Estuary Task Force to realise the unrivalled opportunity for impacting climate change and job creation through renewable energy generation on the west coast.
ESB Equinor Moneypoint – Limerick Chamber calls for Shannon Estuary Taskforce
Moneypoint power station in Co Clare looks set to become a ‘green energy hub’ under new plans announced by the ESB. The ESB-Equinor joint-venture for Ireland’s most significant land or sea-based wind farm and an associated hydrogen plant at Moneypoint is the start of an unprecedented and transformative opportunity for the region and nation.
Responding to today’s announcement of the multi-billion investment, SFPC Chief Executive Mr Keating said that it validates the enormous potential of the Shannon Estuary and west coast as a global renewable energy hub and its efforts the port authority and other stakeholders to promote this opportunity over recent years.
“This is a hugely positive day for ESB and Equinor but also for everyone who has been working tirelessly over recent years to promote this unprecedented opportunity for Ireland. We have one of the world’s great energy renewable resources, with the Atlantic wind resource considered the best in the world. But we now finally have the money to use it because of the advancement of floating offshore wind technology and hydrogen generation. Put these elements together, and we have the resource, the technology and base to transform Ireland into one of the world’s leading renewable energy locations,” he said.
Limerick Chamber has today called on Government to fast-track the establishment of its planned Shannon Estuary Task Force to realise the unrivalled opportunity for impacting climate change and job creation through renewable energy generation on the west coast.
Welcoming the announcement of a joint venture by the ESB and Equinor for a planned floating offshore wind farm and hydrogen production facility at Moneypoint, Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said that it verifies the unprecedented opportunity, of national significance, that exists for the region, and she urged Government to move swiftly to capitalise on it.
Ms Ryan said that the planned investment by the ESB further supports the view from within the Mid-West of the opportunity to transform the Shannon Estuary and more expansive west of Ireland into a green energy hub. She also welcomed the ESB’s commitment to collaborate with Shannon Foynes Port Company for the use of its deep-water port at Foynes in the development phase.
“As recent as two weeks ago, at the launch of the Climate Bill, an Tánaiste Leo Varadkar talked about using the Shannon Estuary as a hub for renewable energy and hydrogen and about initiating a Task Force here to deliver on this opportunity. Today’s announcement validates what the Tánaiste said, and we ask that plans for a Task-Force be fast-tracked with immediate effect so that we not alone maximise this ESB-Equinor opportunity but build out from that to capitalise on the much greater opportunity that exists.
“The west coast has been naturally gifted with deep waters in the Shannon Estuary and unrivalled wind capacity off the coast. The race has already begun within Europe to capture that wind energy using floating offshore and hydrogen production technology. Today’s announcement is a brilliant start and sees Ireland taking a further step towards unlocking this transformative unrivalled green energy asset on the west coast. But we must move fast through coordinated strategy development, policy and legislative change, skills development and investment in facilities, not least at Foynes Port, to ensure that we seize the opportunity to become a significant global player in renewable energy.
“We’re also very encouraged by the ESB’s commitment today to work in collaboration with Shannon Foynes Port Company in the development phase. With the deep-water port at Foynes and plans for the reinstatement of the rail network from Limerick to Foynes Port and the direct connection to the motorway network from Foynes, the port will play a critical role in realising this unprecedented opportunity from renewable energy on the western seaboard.”
Press Release: ESB Announces ‘GREEN ATLANTIC @ Moneypoint’
— ESB Group (@ESBGroup) April 9, 2021
Ms Ryan continued: “Just short of a century ago, this region, through the Ardnacrusha Canal project, delivered an energy revolution for Ireland that transformed what was then a fledging State and here we are today, with the opportunity to do it again.”
Ms Ryan predicted that the ESB-Equinor joint venture would trigger further private investment in the region in the coming decades. “The involvement of Equinor in this project, who are a global leader in floating offshore wind, illustrates just how exciting the opportunity is on the Estuary and off the Irish west coast. While today’s announcement talks about 1,400 megawatts of wind energy, a report published by Shannon Foynes Port Company late last year showed that the available resource could be 50 times that.
“We have the expertise in the region, the natural assets and now the technology. We need Government to put the framework in place to attract more investment. If it does, it will transform our economy and, in keeping with the goals of Project Ireland 2040, rebalance economic opportunities on this side of the island.”
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