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Confidence has been expressed by a Clare TD that the Green Atlantic project at Moneypoint will proceed even though Norwegian firm Equinor have pulled out of the Irish market.

Equinor pulled out of the Irish market in recent weeks, having previously reached an agreement with the ESB to develop a major 1.4GW wind farm using floating technology, at a cost of €2 billion.

Deputy Cathal Crowe (FF) is confident “the project can still very much proceed”. He disputed reports that outdated planning and regulatory systems was a major factor in the withdrawal.

He called on the ESB and Government to work in tandem to find a replacement partner for the offshore wind development. “There are many other companies who I believe will find the project to be very attractive and I will be asking government and the ESB to immediately engage with some of these companies so that the project doesn’t encounter any delays.

“When developed, the Green Atlantic project will be a key component of Ireland providing more than 80% of its energy needs from renewables and getting out country closer to 2050 carbon reduction targets. From a Clare point of view, the project and Moneypoint breath new hope into a part of our county that was hugely concerned about the future of the Moneypoint Power Station,” the Meelick native added.

Crowe continued, “With coal burning operations being wound down, all hopes now rest on the transition to wind energy offshore. Beyond generating electricity from offshore wind turbines, Moneypoint will also be a centre of excellence for developing new wind turbine technologies which will be used not only in the locality but also nationally and globally. The withdrawal of Equinor certainly won’t bury this project but it’s imperative that every effort is now made to ensure that a new partner is found and the project proceeds as swiftly as possible”.

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