Irish energy company ESB and Denmark-based Ørsted have signed an agreement to co-develop a 5GW offshore wind portfolio in Ireland.

Through the deal, the companies have become 50-50 partners in the pipeline of offshore wind development projects off the Irish coast.

ESB and Ørsted will also deliver complementary renewable hydrogen projects, said the companies.

According to the partners, the first of the offshore wind projects from the portfolio will compete in ORESS 2.1, which is the next Irish offshore wind auction.

ESB generation and trading executive director Jim Dollard said: “ESB is developing a large renewables pipeline, and as part of that has developed a strong portfolio of offshore wind projects around the coasts of Ireland.

“We are delighted to partner with Ørsted, a global leader in the offshore wind industry, in developing this portfolio in Ireland. Offshore wind in Ireland will play a key part in the delivery of the ESB Strategy, Driven to Make A Difference – Net Zero by 2040 and the announcement of this partnership with Ørsted is an important step in that journey.”

The partnership between ESB and Ørsted also involves a commitment to study the opportunities in the longer term for the renewable hydrogen generated from the projects.

Besides, the collaboration seeks to support the Irish government’s 2030 target of installing 7GW of offshore wind.

Furthermore, both companies aim to contribute to help the country’s transition to net-zero.

Ørsted UK and Ireland head and senior vice president Duncan Clark said: “This partnership combines complementary strengths relevant to development in this market and creates an ideal platform for Ørsted to bring its global expertise in the delivery of offshore wind to bear in Ireland.”

Last month, Ørsted agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Lease Area OCS-A 500 (Lease 500), an uncontracted federal offshore wind lease area in the US, from its partner Eversource Energy in an all-cash deal worth $625m. The offshore wind seabed has a potential capacity of up to 4GW.