A new Irish offshore wind project development venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Statkraft has secured a government-backed 500MW project contract.

The partnership won the contract from the Irish State to support the development and delivery of the North Irish Sea Array (NISA) project off the east coast of Ireland.

Nischal Agarwal, partner at CIP, said the 20-year contract provides a strong basis on which to continue the development of the NISA project which will contribute towards Ireland’s 2030 renewables target and unlock the potential of offshore wind in the market.

Once completed, NISA will have the capacity to power approximately half a million Irish homes and businesses.

David Flood, senior VP for offshore wind at Statkraft, said: “Being successful in Ireland’s first offshore auction is a truly momentous event – not just for Statkraft, but for the entire country.

“Today’s positive result means that we, alongside our partners, CIP, can continue to work apace to get our offshore project, NISA, off the ground and put Ireland firmly on track to a decarbonised future.”

CIP’s €7bn Copenhagen Infrastructure IV fund and Statkraft created their partnership back in January to develop up to 2.2GW of offshore wind off the Irish coast; projects which are expected to be among the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects in Ireland with commercial operations expected to commence in 2028.

As part of the partnership, the CIP fund acquired 50% of Statkraft’s offshore wind portfolio in Ireland in a deal that will see the two firms investing more than €4bn to develop and build the portfolio.

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