Exploiting the vast wind resources off the coast of Ireland will be necessary if the ambition to reach 70% renewable energy on the electricity system is to be realised by 2030.

EirGrid Stepping up with New Off-Shore Role in Support of the Government’s Climate Action Ambitions

13 May 2020

Following a Government decision, it has been announced that EirGrid Group, which currently operates and plans the electricity grid, will be appointed as the Transmission System Operator and the Transmission Asset Owner for Offshore Grid Assets in the Republic of Ireland.

Exploiting the vast wind resources off the coast of Ireland will be necessary if the ambition to reach 70% renewable energy on the electricity system is to be realised by 2030.

Also, if the national climate objective of transitioning to Net Zero by 2050 becomes law (as provided for in the Climate Change and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021), a significant amount of the electricity will be required to be generated from offshore renewable sources. Therefore, the decision by Government today is another key milestone on the road to decarbonisation.

The planning and development of the offshore grid assets will enable the operation of off-shore wind farms and will play a central role in harnessing this unique resource. 

"EirGrid is pleased that the Minister and the Government have put their confidence in us to lead on a matter of such strategic long-term importance for Ireland"

Chairman of EirGrid, Brendan Tuohy, stated:

“EirGrid Group is committed to playing its part in the decarbonisation of society.

“With Ireland’s significant offshore renewable energy potential, EirGrid is honoured to be tasked by Government to become the Transmission System Operator and the Transmission Asset Owner for Offshore Grid Assets.These will be essential elements to enable decarbonisation and EirGrid is fully committed to delivering on what is required.”

Speaking about the announcement EirGrid Chief Executive, Mark Foley said:

“This is a significant development for the energy industry and at EirGrid we are pleased that the Minister and the Government have put their confidence in us to lead on a matter of such strategic long-term importance for Ireland.

“EirGrid is stepping up in support of the government’s Climate Action ambitions with our on-going efforts to increase renewable energy on the grid and in how we are planning for future development and delivery.

“This is a long-term strategic opportunity for Ireland as we seek to maximise our wind resource and, in time, may enable Ireland to become a major exporter of renewable energy.”