Irish and Belgian team to deliver Ireland’s first commercial scale offshore Wind Farm

Parkwind, one of Europe’s leading offshore Wind Farm developers, has agreed a significant investment to become a strategic partner in the Oriel Wind Farm – the 330 MW offshore wind project proposed for the North Irish Sea.  Oriel Wind Farm is the front runner of Ireland’s offshore wind projects and this partnership strengthens Oriel’s ambition to become the first of a new generation of offshore windfarms in operations by combining the executional excellence of Parkwind with the strength of the existing Irish shareholders.  Ireland has a vast offshore wind energy potential, that is about to be developed in the coming decade. The location of the future Oriel Wind Farm can benefit from an excellent wind resource, shelter from high wave loads and has favorable water depths and good seabed conditions. As Pioneer, the Oriel Wind Farm is considered in Ireland as an exemplary project for the offshore wind industry in the Irish market and will provide green energy for 250.000 Irish homes.


Brian Britton, founder and board member of Oriel Wind Farm states: “In our search for a strategic partner, several international offshore wind players were interested in acquiring a stake in Oriel Wind Farm. Our choice for Parkwind is driven by the strong track record and values the company Parkwind stands for. We believe that Parkwind can bring in the necessary knowledge and pioneering spirit to bring this project to a successful end.”

In the past years, Parkwind has successfully developed and constructed 3 offshore windfarms located in the Belgian concessions zone in the North Sea. These windfarms, that are also operated by Parkwind today, provide around 550 MW of green energy to the Belgian market. When starting up the Nobelwind Wind Farm in May this year, Parkwind expressed its ambition to export its knowledge and experience in the development, construction and operation of offshore windfarms outside its home market. Parkwind takes the crucial first step in fulfilling this ambition with the acquisition of Oriel Wind Farm.

Parkwind co-CEO François Van Leeuw states: “Parkwind has a firm ambition to grow internationally. After the successful development and construction of 550MW in the North Sea, we were able to shift our focus quickly to evolve from an experienced but strictly Belgian to an international player in the offshore wind industry. The challenge and opportunity of realizing the first offshore windfarm in Ireland matches perfectly with our entrepreneurial and solution driven company culture.”

Aside from its international ambitions Parkwind also aims to build the Northwester 2 project, a 224 MW offshore windfarm in the Belgian territorial waters, in 2020. Together with the 330 MW of the Oriel Wind Farm, Parkwind plans to have more than 1000MW of offshore wind production capacity operating by 2020, substantially contributing to the 20/20 European targets of sustainable energy.

Parkwind believes it can support the Irish government in establishing the Irish offshore wind industry, while generating economic activity and employment over the entire lifetime of the project. In recent years offshore wind has become an important part of the energy mix of the future and main driver in reaching the European targets of sustainable energy.

Oriel Project Director Peter Caluwaerts says: “We are confident we can play a vital role for the emerging Irish offshore wind industry. It is our ambition to finalize the construction of the Oriel Wind Farm in 2020, thus assisting Ireland in reaching its 2020 renewable energy targets. To achieve such ambitious timeline, we will immediately invest in the development of the Wind Farm and set up a full-scale project team, consisting of our own experienced people from Parkwind on the one hand and dedicated Irish professionals on the other hand”



About Oriel

Oriel Wind Farm Limited is a sustainable energy company established to develop offshore wind farms in Ireland. The company's first project is the development of a Wind Farm in the North Irish Sea. The Oriel Wind Farm will be the first fully operational commercial Wind Farm developed in Irish waters. The Oriel Wind Farm license area lies 22km off the coast of Dundalk, Co Louth, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ireland. The company is headquartered in Dundalk. Oriel Wind Farm is backed by business, professional and wind farm interests with proven track records in the sector.                              

Total MW 330
Number of Irish families being served 250,000 homes
Estimated Carbon Saving 600,000 metric tonnes – (200,000) Cars
Construction employment over 1000 direct and indirect jobs
Long Term Employment around 100 direct and indirect jobs


About Ireland’s Offshore Wind Potential

Ireland has one of the largest offshore wind resources in the world.  The Government’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, published in 2014, indicated the potential to generate up to 10,000 MW of renewable energy from offshore wind energy. Internationally, offshore wind is the most rapidly growing source of renewable energy.

Developing our offshore wind resources would help Ireland achieve the following:
•Avoids potentially billions in EU fines by helping to achieve our renewable energy targets
•Increase security of energy supply
•Create a new indigenous industry for Ireland, comparable to tourism and agri-food
•Deliver significant job creation, both directly and indirectly

Ireland’s territorial waters are ten times the size of our land. This offshore wind resource will not run out.  It will always be there for the people of Ireland.  But at the moment, the resource is being wasted.  The State is receiving no benefit from, what could be, a very valuable asset. While Ireland’s offshore industry has been slow to develop, much of the preparatory work has already been done.  Offshore is well placed to deliver the clean renewable energy that Ireland needs.