Intertek completes management of marine megafauna and bird surveys for Simply Blue Group and ESB’s Saoirse Wave Energy Project

November 14, 2023

Liphook, Hampshire, UK: Intertek, a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide, has successfully completed the management of two years of marine megafauna and bird surveys on behalf of Saoirse Wave Energy Ltd, a joint venture between Simply Blue Group and ESB for their Saoirse Wave Energy Converter (WEC) Project on the West Coast of Ireland.

Subcontracted by Intertek, HiDef Surveying Ltd (HiDef) conducted aerial site surveys and terrestrial landfall surveys to quantify the bird, marine mammal, and other marine megafauna populations that are using the site. This data will contribute to the ecological impact assessment. Intertek was not only responsible for the successful delivery of the surveys over the 2-year period, but also for processing and quality assurance of the bird and marine megafauna data, including habitat modelling analysis and species mapping.

When developed, the Simply Blue Group and ESB's Saoirse Wave Energy Converter Project will consist of a 5MW wave energy conversion array of approximately 14 units and will be the first array-scale WEC test and demonstration project in Ireland. It is designed to prove the viability of WEC technology through long-term deployment in the harsh, energetic conditions of the North Atlantic. The predictability and consistency of wave energy has long been recognised as a tremendous potential renewable energy resource, allowing for the balance of grid demand while also delivering on our responsibility and commitments to transition from fossil fuel energy production. The marine renewables market is rapidly expanding, and Simply Blue Group and ESB's Saoirse Wave Energy Converter Project will allow Ireland to be amongst the first commercial users of this new clean energy resource, thus helping Ireland achieve its net zero goals by 2050.

Eric Houston, Associate Director for Intertek Energy & Water commented: ‘We are delighted to have been able to support Simply Blue Group over the last two years with the management of these important surveys. This project is a first of its kind in Ireland, and we are excited about not only the future of WEC technology but also the many ways in which Intertek’s experts can support innovative projects such as these, building on Intertek’s 20+ year track-record in marine renewables.”

Sue Barr, Director of Marine Energy, Simply Blue Group commented: ‘The successful completion of these ecological surveys marks a significant milestone in Simply Blue Group and ESB's Saoirse Wave Energy Converter Project development pathway. This work will provide a greater understanding of bird, marine mammal and other large marine megafauna populations and how they use the site, allowing the project team to incorporate these findings into the environmental impact assessment process and design the project in the most sustainable way possible. This significant work also highlights the commitment both Simply Blue Group and ESB have to progressing wave energy development in Ireland and to adding a vital component to our renewable energy mix.’

About Simply Blue Group

Simply Blue Group, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, is a leading blue economy developer focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean ocean energy. It develops pioneering blue economy projects – offshore wind, sustainable fuels, marine energy, carbon dioxide removal and low-impact aquaculture – all in harmony with the oceans. The company has a pipeline of over 10GW of offshore wind projects across the globe.

Simply Blue Group is committed to creating new economic opportunities for coastal communities, and developing projects that co-exist with sustainable fisheries and marine conservation.

With a passionate team of over 100 people, Simply Blue Group has offices in Cork, Dublin, Newquay, Pembrokeshire, Edinburgh, Bilbao, Oregon and Nova Scotia.

To find out more about our blue economy projects, please visit www.simplybluegroup.com

About ESB

ESB was established in 1927 as a statutory body under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927.

With a holding of 96.9%, ESB is majority owned by the Irish Government. The remaining 3.1% is held by the trustees of an Employee Share Ownership Plan. As a strong, diversified utility, ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications.

As at year-end 2022, ESB has a regulated asset base of approximately €12.0 billion (comprising ESB Networks €9.7 billion and NIE Networks €2.3 billion), a 30% share of generation in the all-island market, and supply businesses supplying electricity and gas to over two million customer accounts throughout the island of Ireland and Great Britain.

At June 2023, ESB Group employed almost 9,000 people.

Further information on the Saoirse Wave Energy project can be found at: https://saoirsewaveenergy.com/

For Technical Information

Please contact:
Eric Houston
E: eric.houston@intertek.com

For Market Information

Please contact:
Niki Schroeder
E: niki.schroeder@intertek.com

About Intertek

TOTAL QUALITY. ASSURED.

Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices in more than 100 countries delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers' operations and supply chains. Intertek Total Quality Assurance expertise, delivered consistently with precision, pace and passion, enabling our customers to power ahead safely.

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