The EDF Group, which has a major site in Gloucester, has bought a 50 per cent interest in the Codling offshore wind farm project in Ireland from Hazel Shore. Its subsidiary EDF Renewables, dedicated to wind and solar energy across the globe, will now partner with Fred Olsen Renewables Ltd, which already owns 50%, to develop and build this project.
The Codling project is located south of Dublin, 13 km off the coast of County Wicklow, benefitting from the favourable conditions for offshore wind off the east coast of Ireland. The initial development work started in 2003. Codling is spread across two sites, one of which, Codling 1, is consented. As an indication, the capacity of the project should be around 1 GW of installed capacity.
This acquisition comes after the Irish Government set out the country’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions. In July 2019 it adopted a Climate Action Plan which specifies, among other things, to grow renewables in order to provide 70% of electricity generation by 2030. Offshore wind is expected to deliver at least 3.5 GW in support of reaching this target. Over the next couple of years, project development will continue with the intention that Codling will make a significant contribution to achieving the Irish Climate Action Plan targets.
The EDF Group, is a major offshore wind global player. Its subsidiary EDF Renewables has a portfolio of offshore wind projects that exceeds 6 GW under operations, under construction and in development in the United Kingdom, in France, in Belgium, in Germany, in China and in the United States.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables said, “We are very pleased to join the Codling offshore wind project in partnership with Fred Olsen Renewables. We are committed to contributing to the Irish government’s renewables goals. This important project clearly strengthens our strong ambition to be a leading global player in the offshore wind industry. This is consistent with the CAP 2030 strategy that aims to double EDF’s renewable energy generation by 2030 and increase it to 50 GW net”.
Matthieu Hue, CEO EDF Renewables UK and Ireland said, “This is a very exciting move for us and we are really pleased to have arrived in Ireland. It is a country which has strong commitments to renewables and we are keen to support Ireland’s energy and climate ambitions. We already have an office in Dublin and are looking for further renewables projects to add to our growing portfolio.”
A spokesman for Hazel Shore commented, “EDF’s arrival in Ireland as a strategic investor and partner in the Codling project is a crucial step in delivering on a vision which began for Hazel Shore in 2003. This is a strong endorsement of the path Ireland is on towards the 2030 renewable energy targets, set out in the Climate Action Plan, and a validation of Hazel Shore’s significant investment and hard work over almost two decades.
The Hazel Shore shareholders remain committed to continuing their renewable and forestry businesses. Richard Barrett of Bartra Capital will focus on his non-Irish renewable projects; John Ronan and Conor Ronan will retain an equity-based interest in Codling alongside their other Irish holdings in the sector.”