Irish utility ESB and Shannon Foynes Port on Monday announced a funding partnership for a EUR-250,000 (USD 270,000) research project to study the requirements and identify potential sites for wet storage, which is needed to facilitate floating offshore wind.
Wet storage is the temporary storage of floating wind turbines in suitable offshore areas before they are installed at their designated locations.
The study will be carried out by MaREI, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine at University College Cork (UCC) over the next two years. The first phase of the research will seek to understand the conditions and constraints associated with identifying and developing appropriate wet storage sites, while the second phase will concentrate on the technical challenges of designing sites, including optimising layout and mooring configuration.
“Because of the estuary’s existing deepwater ports at Foynes and Moneypoint, wet storage space and available land for large-scale industrial development, we are one of few locations in Europe that can manufacture floating turbines at the scale necessary for commercialisation,” Shannon Foynes Port chief executive Pat Keating pointed out.
According to Jimmy Murphy, funded investigator in MaREI, the project will be an important enabler for the emerging floating wind energy sector in Ireland.
Given its huge maritime area, Ireland sees a potential for up to 30 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2050.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.080)