GE Wind and Airtricity Announce Irish Wind Project
GE Wind Energy (Tehachapi, CA), a leading wind power company, and Airtricity (Ireland), a large renewable energy company, announced plans to develop a 25MW wind farm in the Irish Sea to provide power for the Irish electricity grid. The project, to be located about 10km off the coast of Arklow, Ireland, will feature seven of GE Wind Energy's new, 3.6MW wind turbines. This will be the first offshore application of this technology and the first offshore wind project with turbines above 3MW rated capacity. The project is expected to generate enough electricity to serve approximately 16,000 Irish households.
Final approval for the Arklow project is expected shortly from the Irish Minister of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. Installation of the wind turbines in the Irish Sea is proposed to begin this summer. Commercial service is anticipated by the end of the year. Initially, GE Wind Energy will operate the facility as a demonstration site. Under the terms of the agreement, Airtricity will hold an option to purchase the project after its demonstration is complete, approximately two years after first operation.