- Almost 100 businesses met to share insights on how Ireland can grow its offshore supply chain
- New supplier engagement portal launched for Irish market
Representatives of almost 100 businesses have attended the first Supplier Engagement Day for the Dublin Array Offshore Wind Farm project.
The supplier event, which was the first of its kind held in Ireland for the emerging offshore industry, highlighted the exciting opportunities that offshore renewable energy brings to Ireland.
RWE Renewables, which is a leading global player in renewable energy, is developing the proposed Dublin Array wind farm approximately 10km from the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow.
Attendees, speakers and RWE representatives shared insights on how Ireland can grow its offshore supply chain, with both established suppliers and those who hope to move into the rapidly growing offshore wind industry in Ireland in attendance.
Minister Ossian Smyth opened the event, which took place at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, with a keynote address speaking about how developing the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland is a “move towards regaining our energy independence and our economic strength”, and acknowledged that “building our renewable energy close to where people use it makes sense”.
Minister Smyth, who stated that he supports Dublin Array 100%, also recognised that state agencies need to be sufficiently resourced to support offshore wind in the upcoming budget and into the future.
Peter Lefroy, Dublin Array Project Director said: “This was a really exciting event, bringing together almost 100 businesses and highlighting the huge opportunities the emerging offshore industry in Ireland can bring to local communities. We had a fantastic mix of attendees and some really excellent speakers, including a number of Irish suppliers that are already actively working in the offshore wind industry. The conversations our team had will prove invaluable as we look to ensure Ireland taps into the benefits of this new industry.
“Minister Smyth’s comments about the resources needed were poignant, and underscored the work needed by both government and industry to ensure Irish suppliers can make the most of this huge opportunity, which was reflected in a number of presentations throughout the day.
“We will be holding more supplier events as the project progresses, and also hosting events to highlight what skills are needed to ensure Irish people and businesses can capture as much of this opportunity as possible.”
A new Dublin Array supplier engagement platform was launched at the event, part of RWE’s Supplier Transparency & Engagement Programme (STEP) initiative. STEP has been set up to enable early and ongoing engagement across the supply chain, connecting companies with key project staff to provide guidance on the potential opportunities available to work as a supplier to Dublin Array, as well as future offshore projects.
RWE encourages any businesses considering entering the offshore industry to register their details at www.dublinarray.com/suppliers. Those who have registered will be notified about future events and will have the opportunity to speak to project teams.
Once fully operational, Dublin Array will be capable of producing up to 824 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity from between 39 and 50 wind turbines, located on the Kish and Bray banks off the Irish coast. This would be enough energy to supply the equivalent of around 770,000 typical homes, and could help reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions by more than 1.4m tonnes per year.
The project was successful in Ireland’s first Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS) auction earlier this year and will be one of the first offshore wind farms to be constructed under the scheme. It will help the Government meet its target of 5GW of offshore wind energy being connected to the Irish national grid by 2030.
Dublin Array will be RWE’s first offshore wind farm in Ireland, which the company views as a key market, with additional projects already in development including the 900 MW East Celtic Offshore Wind Farm. RWE is also expanding its existing onshore wind farm and battery storage portfolio in Ireland.
RWE has a strong track record of working closely with local communities and suppliers in the development of offshore wind projects, and this will be a key element of its Dublin Array development. Plans are continuing to be refined for Dublin Array and RWE intends to submit a planning application for the project early next year.