ESB’s WestWave Project has been selected by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) as one of the projects to go forward for evaluation by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the EU New Entrant Reserve (NER300) funding mechanism.
The WestWave Project aims to develop the first wave energy project in Ireland by 2015 by generating an initial 5MW of clean renewable electricity from the plentiful wave energy resource available off the west coast of Ireland. WestWave is a collaborative project being led by ESB in conjunction with a number of wave energy technology partners including Irish technology developers Wavebob & Ocean Energy and Scottish technology developers Aquamarine Power & Pelamis Wave Power.
The project will be considered for funding under the EU’s NER300 fund, alongside support under the Republic of Ireland’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) for wave energy and domestic grant funding. The project is in line with ESB’s strategy to develop 150MW of electricity from ocean energy by 2020 and the Irish Government’s strategy to generate 500MW from ocean energy in the same period.
Project receives Foreshore Licences
In a further development, ESB has been awarded Foreshore Exploration Licenses for the WestWave Project by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG). This will enable ESB to conduct marine surveys and resource measurements at two locations, Killard Point, Co. Clare and the Achill Area, Co. Mayo. These sites were identified following a detailed selection process based on mapping studies, site testing, environmental considerations and stakeholder feedback.
ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus said: “ESB’s strategy involves focusing on sustainable and renewable energy technologies with the goal of reducing our carbon emissions by 80% by 2030 and achieving net carbon neutrality for our generation portfolio by 2050. We are very pleased that the WestWave Project has been selected by DCENR as one of the Irish projects being put through to the next stage of the NER300 process and we look forward to working with EIB during the next stage of the evaluation process. We also welcome the granting of Foreshore Licenses by DECLG which will enable the project to undertake marine survey work, wave resource assessments and establish environmental baseline data at potential sites.”
Source: westwave, July 20, 2011