Vårgrønn, a joint venture between Eni’s Plenitude and HitecVision, has teamed up with Irish renewable energy company Energia to co-develop up to 1.8GW of offshore wind projects in Ireland.

The partnership will initially focus on the development of two sites, one in the Northern Celtic Sea and the other in the Southern Irish Sea, with a capacity of up to 900MW each.

Eni said that the partnership would allow its Benefit Corporation Plenitude, through Vårgrønn, to expand its activities into the Irish offshore wind market.

Plenitude CEO Stefano Goberti said: “This agreement allows us to further consolidate Plenitude’s presence in a strategic sector as the wind offshore, thanks to new promising joint venture projects off the Irish coast.

“In line with Plenitude’s target to reach 15GW installed renewable capacity worldwide within 2030, we confirm, through our share in Vårgrønn, the commitment to expanding our offshore wind pipeline in the Northern Europe.”

Energia Renewables has completed extensive development work on Ireland’s south and east coasts, where the two sites are located, over the last four years.

It has completed the seabed surveys across the sites, collected nearly three years of aerial data on birds and mammals, and started preparations for environmental impact assessments.

The engagement programmes with local fisheries and communities are also in place, and the preparatory work will enable both projects to be operational by 2030, said Energia.

Energia Group CEO Ian Thom said: “We look forward to working closely with Vårgrønn and to combining our experience of developing renewable energy projects in Ireland with Vårgrønn’s extensive offshore wind expertise and supply chain relationships.

“Through the development work completed to date, our partnership is uniquely placed to deliver new offshore capacity on the south and east coasts by 2030, and in so doing, make a significant contribution to Ireland’s offshore wind targets.

“Today’s announcement underpins Energia Group’s commitment to climate action and the provision of renewable electricity to homes and businesses across the island of Ireland.”

The joint venture between Vårgrønn and Energia Renewables follows Ireland’s first offshore wind auction in June under its new Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS).

Earlier this year, Vårgrønn entered into a long-term strategic partnership with European Energy to jointly pursue offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea within Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

Vårgrønn CEO Olav Hetland said: “We look forward to bringing Vårgrønn’s concentrated offshore wind expertise into the partnership and progressing projects together, building on the extensive development work already completed by Energia.

“Having strong local expertise is critical to successfully delivering projects that provide affordable power at scale and speed while contributing to local jobs creation.

“Energia’s long-standing local presence and track record with delivering a wide range of onshore renewable energy projects in Ireland, therefore makes them an ideal partner for us.”