Pictured (L-R) at a recent event where details of the energy project were announced were Leo Quinn, Senior Offshore Development Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power, Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, and Jane Hennessy, Stakeholder Engagement and Development Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power.

PLANS for a new windfarm off the coast of West Clare are to be lodged by a leading renewable energy company.

On Friday, Mainstream Renewable Power announced its intention to develop a “significant new offshore wind project” off the coast of Clare which is designed to support the Government’s carbon emissions targets for the electricity sector by 2030.

The Clare Echo understands that the project is currently at the early feasibility stages with developers hopeful of having a capacity of 1GW or sufficient to meet the electricity needs for 600,000 homes. Mainstream is in the process of conducting early-stage development activities as it awaits a foreshore license to begin deep sea surveys to determine the seabed conditions including water depth and sediment type, and to understand the natural habitats. The site will be across the Clare and Kerry coastline and will be approximately 20km from the coast and include areas of the county such as Kilrush and Doonbeg.

Four shellfish farming sites (West Shannon Rinevella, West Shannon Carrigaholt, West Shannon Poulnasherry Bay and West Shannon Ballylongford are located within the proposed cable investigation area and 8km from the Wind Farm investigation area.

If successful with the development, Mainstream will be establishing a 15-year community benefit fund for the local coastal community and will work closely with local stakeholders ahead of designing a scheme that ensures that the community benefits in the most effective way.

Mainstream will in the near future be inviting local groups and members of the public to take part in the first in a series of public consultation engagements. This will include webinars and information clinics.

Commenting on the project, Mary Quaney, Group Chief Executive with Mainstream Renewable Power said, “The waters off Clare provide some of the best conditions for wind energy across Europe with natural wind resources that have the potential to power all of Clare’s electrical output with clean and locally-sourced power. We are hugely excited at the prospect of bringing our team to Clare and contributing as positively to the local community as we have in the many other communities that we’ve become a part of across the world”.

A fortnight ago, Mainstream announced plans to create 100 new jobs in Dublin and the opening of its new state of the art global headquarters in the capital to support the develop of three offshore wind energy projects.

The company was founded in Ireland in 2008 by former Airtricity chief Eddie O’Connor. It is now majority Norwegian-owned, following a tie-up with Aker Horizons. In March it also took on a €575m investment from Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Mainstream’s global portfolio consists of 27 gigawatts worth of wind and solar assets, based in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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