Developer Pulling Out Of Moneypoint Project Described As ‘Government Failure’ By Local Councillors

© Pat Flynn

Local representatives are describing the leading developer behind Moneypoint’s offshore wind project pulling out of the Irish market as a ‘failure’ caused by the Government ‘sitting on its hands’.

It’s after one of the biggest wind energy companies in the world withdrew from the 2 billion euro development of a large offshore wind farm in West Clare.


Earlier this year, the ESB and the Norwegian company announced details of the project in West Clare, with the intention to begin supplying energy by 2028.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created during and after the works, with estimations that one and a half million homes could be powered by it if it gets the green light.

Work was being prepared on a planning application for the project when the news emerged.

It’s understood Equinor were dissatisfied with the regulatory and planning regime in the State before making the decision to pull out.

However, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan says planning regulations will be updated soon to prevent energy companies pulling out of the Irish market.

One West Clare representative though isn’t so sure that any new planning laws will be enough to prevent companies like Equinor walking away from such projects.

Kilrush-based Independent Councillor Ian Lynch believes there’s still plenty of work to do to ensure regulations are appropriate for investment, and that the current impasse has been caused by failure at Government level.

In a statement to Clare FM, ESB says it ‘remains fully committed to developing and delivering a major portfolio of offshore wind projects in Irish waters’.

The utility says the move doesn’t diminish their ambition to deliver offshore wind, and that they’re confident they’ll still have a ‘significant role’ to play in such projects up to 2030 and beyond.

It’s understood ESB remains committed to the project and that its timeline won’t be impacted.

The Cathaoirelach of the West Clare MD says despite his own ‘fury’ at today’s developments, he believes the project will ultimately go ahead.

Fianna Fail Councillor Cillian Murphy says while he doesn’t think the overall in jeopardy, it sits a difficult precdent for future investment in West Clare and beyond.