WINDFARMPLANSADVANCE

The Argus - - NEWS - By OLIVIA RYAN

DUN­DALK based Oriel Wind Farm Ltd. have con­firmed a new part­ner­ship with Belgian com­pany ‘ Park­wind’ as part of the bid to build a ma­jor wind farm off the coast of Dun­dalk.

The Belgian firm, one of Europe’s lead­ing off­shore Wind Farm de­vel­op­ers, has agreed a ‘sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment’ to be­come a strate­gic part­ner in the Oriel Wind Farm – the pro­posed 330 MW off­shore wind project pro­posed for the north Ir­ish Sea.

Brian Brit­ton, founder and board mem­ber of Oriel Wind Farm con­firmed the new part­mern­ship, say­ing: ‘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.’

It’s been more than a decade since Oriel Wind Farm first un­veiled plans to build the first fully op­er­a­tional com­mer­cial Wind Farm de­vel­oped in Ir­ish waters, with a li­cense area for the de­vel­op­ment ly­ing 22km off the coast of Dun­dalk

Ire­land is renowned for its vast off­shore wind en­ergy po­ten­tial, with ex­ten­sive re­search hav­ing been done to har­ness that en­ergy.

Oriel Wind Farm es­ti­mate the de­vel­op­ment could pro­vide green en­ergy for up to 250,000 homes, and make car­bon sav­ings of up 600,000 met­ric tonnes.

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 im­medi-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.’

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 pro­vide around 550 MW of green en­ergy to the Belgian mar­ket.

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.’

Above: Brian Brit­ton of Oriel Wind Farm (in­set).

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