Major investment in offshore wind farm project in Louth

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Staff Reporter

Major investment in offshore wind farm project in Louth

Major investment in offshore wind farm project off Louth coast

Parkwind, one of Europe’s leading offshore Wind Farm developers, has agreed a significant investment to become a strategic partner with Dundalk-based company Oriel Wind Farm – to operate the 330 MW offshore wind project proposed for the North Irish Sea.

Oriel Wind Farm is the front runner of Ireland’s offshore wind projects and this partnership strengthens Oriel’s ambition to become the first of a new generation of offshore windfarms in operation, by combining the executional excellence of Parkwind with the strength of the existing Irish shareholders.

Ireland has a vast offshore wind energy potential, that is about to be developed in the coming decade. The location of the future Oriel Wind Farm can benefit from an excellent wind resource, shelter from high wave loads and has favorable water depths and good seabed conditions. As Pioneer, the Oriel Wind Farm is considered in Ireland as an exemplary project for the offshore wind industry in the Irish market and will provide green energy for 250.000 Irish homes.

Brian Britton, founder and board member of Oriel Wind Farm states: “In our search for a strategic partner, several international offshore wind players were interested in acquiring a stake in Oriel Wind Farm. Our choice for Parkwind is driven by the strong track record and values the company Parkwind stands for. We believe that Parkwind can bring in the necessary knowledge and pioneering spirit to bring this project to a successful end.”

In the past years, Parkwind has successfully developed and constructed 3 offshore windfarms located in the Belgian concessions zone in the North Sea. These windfarms, that are also operated by Parkwind today, provide around 550 MW of green energy to the Belgian market. When starting up the Nobelwind Wind Farm in May this year, Parkwind expressed its ambition to export its knowledge and experience in the development, construction and operation of offshore windfarms outside its home market. Parkwind takes the crucial first step in fulfilling this ambition with the acquisition of Oriel Wind Farm.

Parkwind co-CEO François Van Leeuw states: “Parkwind has a firm ambition to grow internationally. After the successful development and construction of 550MW in the North Sea, we were able to shift our focus quickly to evolve from an experienced but strictly Belgian to an international player in the offshore wind industry. The challenge and opportunity of realizing the first offshore windfarm in Ireland matches perfectly with our entrepreneurial and solution driven company culture.”

Aside from its international ambitions Parkwind also aims to build the Northwester 2 project, a 224 MW offshore windfarm in the Belgian territorial waters, in 2020. Together with the 330 MW of the Oriel Wind Farm, Parkwind plans to have more than 1000MW of offshore wind production capacity operating by 2020, substantially contributing to the 20/20 European targets of sustainable energy.

Parkwind believes it can support the Irish government in establishing the Irish offshore wind industry, while generating economic activity and employment over the entire lifetime of the project. In recent years offshore wind has become an important part of the energy mix of the future and main driver in reaching the European targets of sustainable energy.

Oriel Project Director Peter Caluwaerts says: “We are confident we can play a vital role for the emerging Irish offshore wind industry. It is our ambition to finalize the construction of the Oriel Wind Farm in 2020, thus assisting Ireland in reaching its 2020 renewable energy targets. To achieve such ambitious timeline, we will immediately invest in the development of the Wind Farm and set up a full-scale project team, consisting of our own experienced people from Parkwind on the one hand and dedicated Irish professionals on the other hand”

About Oriel
Oriel Wind Farm Limited is a sustainable energy company established to develop offshore wind farms in Ireland. The company's first project is the development of a Wind Farm in the North Irish Sea. The Oriel Wind Farm will be the first fully operational commercial Wind Farm developed in Irish waters. The Oriel Wind Farm license area lies 22km off the coast of Dundalk, Co Louth, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ireland. The company is headquartered in Dundalk. Oriel Wind Farm is backed by business, professional and wind farm interests with proven track records in the sector.