DP Energy-100% committed to a world fully powered by renewable energy

Can you imagine a non-fossil fuelled world that is solely powered by renewable energy? And can you imagine this mission being led from Cork?

This is the overall goal of DP Energy, the Cork-based company that develops large scale renewable energy projects worldwide using only energy from the sun (wind, solar and wave energy) and ocean energy and tidal from gravity influenced by the moon.

DP Energy is a family company, led by co-founders Maureen De Pietro and Simon De Pietro, a mother and son partnership, who have been developing wind energy projects for over 30 years with the fundamental belief that renewables are both necessary, and inevitable, for a better world but also that they must be delivered by applying the most environmentally responsible methods with as little impact as possible on the other species that share this planet.

DP Energy is headquartered in Buttevant in North Cork, where DP’s Irish onshore team is located, whilst its Irish offshore team is located next to the water (appropriately) at Horgan’s Quay, Cork city.

The business employs a team of highly experienced engineers, marine scientists, planning experts, project managers, environmental managers and financial, legal and technical experts.

The company is a proud member of Wind Energy Ireland (WEI), the renamed Irish Wind Energy Association of which Maureen was a key member of the Council as early as 1993 in the infancy of the wind industry in Ireland. Simon has been co-president of Ocean Energy Europe for over 10 years. Both Maureen and Simon see reliance on wind and the ocean as vital for Ireland’s future energy supply.

DP Energy delivered its first wind farm projects in Tyrone in 1993 and in Leitrim in 1996 and ,since then, has delivered multiple projects across Ireland (including Cork) and the UK as well as further afield in Australia and Canada.

To date, the company has developed over 1GW (1000 MW) of renewable energy projects, the majority of which are already built and operational, and has a further 750MW at late stage of development scheduled to enter construction in 2023/24.

Beyond that DP Energy has an immediate pipeline of 7GW of renewable projects including here in Ireland, and is still exploring new markets. These projects variously range from GW+ scale Offshore Wind projects and multi 100+ MW onshore wind and solar projects, to medium scale solar behind the meter (not exported to the national grid) and even smaller scale solar projects supporting communities including its local Buttevant 5MW community solar project.

In Ireland, DP Energy continues to develop further onshore wind and solar with battery storage, but its biggest news is around Offshore Wind. Since 2015 DP Energy has been moving further into offshore wind as a natural progression from both its onshore and ocean energy experience.

Charlie Jordan, CEO of Scottish Power Renewables; Simon De Pietro, CEO of DP Energy;  Micheál Martin, Taoiseach; Johanna Murphy, president, Cobh Chamber Commerce; Maureen De Pietro, director of DP Energy;  Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Gillian Noble, offshore managing director of Scottish Power; and Adam Cronin, head of offshore, DP Energy. Offshore wind now forms an important part of DP energy’s non-fossil fuelled world objective. Wind energy offshore is typically stronger and more consistent than that on land due to the absence of any physical barriers. In addition, the very major scale of offshore projects enables significant inroads into making CO2 savings.

DP Energy is actively pursuing a number of offshore wind projects worldwide including here in Ireland where it has partnered with Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest renewable energy producers and one of the world’s most experienced offshore wind operators, to establish three off-shore wind projects on the south, east and west coasts. These will deliver 3GW of clean power.

Those projects include DP Energy’s home Cork project, the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park which is located off the Cork and Waterford coasts. The good news is that Inis Ealga and the other projects will not only help battle climate change, support Irish industry and Irish jobs, but also reduce Ireland’s dependency on imported fossil fuels while also providing the opportunity for Ireland to become a major exporter of energy.

DP Energy’s goal is delivery of all three projects as quickly as possible in order to contribute to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan target of 80% renewable electricity by 2030, 7GW of offshore wind by 2030 and, of course, to make the largest contribution as early as we can to fight the battle against global climate change.

DP Energy is aligned and supports Government aspirations of 30GW (or more) of offshore renewables beyond 2030 as we both strive to achieve Net-Zero carbon target by 2050 and to support our European neighbours meeting theirs (using Irish wind). Taking Inis Ealga alone, with a notional capacity of 1,000 MW (1 GW) the project could generate enough energy to power the equivalent of nearly one million Irish homes.

Many of the onshore ecology, offshore bird and marine mammal surveys and preliminary site investigation studies are underway or completed, and recently DP Energy undertook a seabed geophysical survey.

The survey, which covered approximately 900 Km2 beyond the 12 nautical mile limit, was undertaken by Hydrographic Surveys of Crosshaven onboard the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel, ILV Granuaile, a multifunctional ship. (Irish vessel, Irish surveyor, Irish Fisheries Liaison Officer and Irish Developer!).

We were pleased in this process to engage with the local fishermen to minimise any disruption to their fishing activities and with other stakeholders to ensure that the surveys were undertaken with the care necessary to sit within DP Energy’s ethos of ‘environmental responsibility’.

DP Energy recognises the need to share the sea and that open and genuine engagement with the local fishing community is critical. To facilitate this, the team actively engage directly not just with fisheries organisations but also with local fishermen one-to-one in order to understand the individual needs of each fisher.

DP Energy is truly committed to being at the centre of the transformation of Ireland’s energy industry and being a significant employer for the country’s most talented, motivated and innovative individuals in this sector.

The team has already expanded significantly, with the addition of Grid Managers, Project Managers, Community Engagement Liaison Officers and Project Engineers. Paired with this expansion comes an increased demand for additional support from environmental consultants, specialist vessel surveyors, engineering technical businesses and other suppliers. Demand for more team members and opportunity for more services will only increase. Building on Iberdrola’s experience elsewhere, the DP Energy-Iberdrola Joint Venture is also committed to supporting local supply chain and developing pathways to renewables in education.

To ensure there is a strong pipeline of enthusiastic people coming into the sector, we have joined forces with STEAM Education Ltd to launch a series of Green Energy and Climate Action Education Programmes to inspire the next wave of climate scientists, engineers, artists and active citizens.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths and has a mission to inspire children to love STEAM subjects. The Green Energy & Climate Action Education Programmes engage 4th to 6th class students in approximately 20 local schools around the coast with a goal of supporting children to understand the key issues about the climate crisis and to engage in positive climate action in their schools, homes and wider communities. It is, after all, their future.

DP Energy is also focused on working with local Cork environmental groups since the better world goal means climate change and biodiversity must be tackled together. Inis Ealga recently announced sponsorship for the Clean Coasts Ballynamona project providing funding for the purchase of a boat and equipment to assist with the protection of waterways, coastline, seas and marine life and facilitate a range of science backed education programmes promoting biodiversity.

DP Energy’s vision of a world fully powered by renewable energy which protects its environment and biodiversity is achievable and the company plans to lead from the front to make this a reality in Cork, in Ireland and worldwide.

Featured in the Irish Examiner:

DP Energy HP feature

Canada: Prairie Solar Park – Alberta

The proposed 25MW distribution system connected solar PV project is located near Milo in Alberta. The project will be developed on a greenfield site. An option to lease the land was executed with the land owner in August 2018.

Next steps:

  • The Development Permit Application is targeted for submission in Q2 2020 and the Alberta Utility Commission (AUC) application process will be followed shortly thereafter.

Canada: Barlow Solar Park- Alberta

DP Energy is developing two adjacent solar projects on brownfield sites in Southeast Calgary with a combined generation capacity of 64 MW.

Barlow Solar Park is the first of two adjacent solar projects being developed in Southeast Calgary on capped phosphogypsum stacks owned by Viterra Inc. Solar power generation offers a productive use of the sites that would otherwise have limited development potential. The projects will use a ballasted foundation system to ensure the integrity of the stacks are maintained and the clear, level surfaces of the sites offer an excellent installation platform.

Land Use Redesignation and Development Permit approvals were granted by the City of Calgary for the project in 2019 and the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approval followed in 2020.

For more information please refer to the Barlow Solar Park Website located HERE

 

Canada: Deerfoot Solar Park – Alberta

DP Energy is developing two adjacent solar projects on brownfield sites in Southeast Calgary with a combined generation capacity of 64 MW.

Deerfoot Solar is the second of two adjacent solar projects being developed in Southeast Calgary on capped phosphogypsum stacks owned by Viterra Inc. Solar power generation offers a productive use of the sites that would otherwise have limited development potential. The projects will use a ballasted foundation system to ensure the integrity of the stacks are maintained and the clear, level surfaces of the sites offer an excellent installation platform.

Land Use Redesignation and Development Permit Applications were submitted to the City of Calgary on January 29, 2021.

For more information please refer to the Deerfoot Solar Park Website located HERE

Australia: Desailly Renewable Energy Park – Queensland

The Desailly project forms a sizeable combined Solar and Wind energy hybrid project in the north of Queensland comprising some 250MW of solar PV and 300MW of wind turbines. It is expected that the project will incorporate significant battery storage in order to optimise utilisation of the grid export route.

The wind and solar resource, and potential grid export options are under evaluation whilst further ecological surveys are underway and planned.

Canada: Saamis Solar – Alberta

Saamis Solar is a 325 MW solar power project under development on an approximately 1,600-acre site within the city limits of Medicine Hat.

Medicine Hat boasts more days of sunshine per year (330!) than any other city in Canada and the Saamis Solar Par  project is situated in the north-eastern industrial sector of the city. The c.1600-acre site includes a large area of capped phosphogypsum stack and solar power generation offers a productive use of an area that would otherwise have limited development potential. The large, clear and relatively level surface of the cap is ideal for solar panel installation and the project will use a ballasted foundation system to ensure the integrity of the stacks capping is maintained.

A Development Permit for the project was granted in August 2021 and Pending regulatory approvals, construction activities are expected to begin in 2023 with a goal to be fully operational in 2024.

Further information about the project can be found at: https://dpenergy.info/saamissolarpark.

Ireland: Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park – Co. Cork

DP Energy Ireland is investigating the feasibility of developing a ~1GW offshore wind energy project off the south coast of Ireland, the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park (IEMEP).

It is intended to carry out site investigations within the project area, potential export cable corridors and landfall areas to assess the site and associated seabed.

For more information please see the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park Website located here.

Canada: Uisce Tapa – Nova Scotia

DP Energy SPVs Halagonia Tidal Energy Limited (HTEL) and Rio Fundo Operations Canada Limited (RFOCL) control and manage the development of Berth E and Berth C at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) which is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy, located in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.

The combined project is called Uisce Tapa, which means fast water in Gaelic. DP is planning to develop both berths together as one project to take advantage of improved project economics, reduced exposure to technology risk, improved access to capital and shared operations. Both berths hold a sub-lease from FORCE for the deployment of 4.5 MW maximum export capacity. Both berths have been awarded a 15-year Feed in Tariff (FIT) under the Electricity Act and section 18(2) of the Regulations. The approved FIT rate is CDN$530/MWh and the power will be sold to Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI). The project will deploy 6 x 1.5 MW of AHH Mk1 devices – 9 MW.

The Andrtiz Hammerfest Hydro (AHH) MK1 is the proposed technology to be deployed on Berth E. The Mk1 has an 18.4 m diameter rotor and rated power of 1.5 MW. The turbine is a horizontal axis, 3 bladed, seabed mounted tidal turbine, which has been successfully deployed (3 machines) at MeyGen in Scotland. The Mk1 design represents the next generation in seabed mounted tidal turbine development for AHH incorporating a number of new features both to customise elements of the device for operation in the Bay of Fundy, but also to ready the device for commercial scale deployment.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) were deployed in late July 2019 in order to collect information on the current flows at the specific project site.  The devices will be retrieved in August with analysis expected to complete by the end of September 2019.

Scotland: Westray South Tidal Array – Orkney

In April 2014 DP Energy acquired the development rights to the Westray South proposal. The project was awarded a 200MW Agreement for Lease (AfL) from The Crown Estate (TCE) in March 2010. A specific development company for the site, Westray South Tidal Development Ltd (WST)

Project Description

The site is located within the Westray Firth approximately 24km to the north of Kirkwall, the nearest sizeable port. The Crown Estate Agreement for Lease area covers approximately 13km2 (excluding grid connection corridor) within which the proposed development would occupy a smaller area; work on identifying this and related stakeholder consultation is ongoing.

The project development scope for consenting purposes being progressed encompasses the offshore works (tidal generators, array cabling and export cable to shore) and export cable landfall near the village of Tingwall. Development of the onshore substation to which the project will connect and wider grid infrastructure lies outwith the scope of the project.

At present the electricity network on Orkney and beyond is not able to accommodate projects of this scale and options for development of new grid connection infrastructure are being investigated.

Scoping

In order to inform the environmental and navigational safety studies a Scoping Report and Preliminary Hazard Analysis were submitted for consultation in 2011. A scoping opinion in response to these was received from Marine Scotland in December 2011 and this, along with subsequent discussions, has guided the environmental and technical assessments which have been carried out thus far.

Consultation

An Environmental Statement (ES) and Navigational Risk Assessment (NRA) will be submitted at the time an application for consent is lodged. These documents will describe the project and present an assessment of the likely significant effects which may result from it, including any proposed mitigation measures. Further public consultation will be undertaken prior to lodging a formal consent application.

At this stage in order to inform the preparation of the ES and NRA consultation has been undertaken to ensure that the scope and methods utilised for baseline studies will enable a robust Environmental Impact Assessment to be undertaken.

EIA

Ecological surveys were initiated in January 2012 in order to provide baseline data relating to habitats and species which use the proposed development area. The area of survey varies depending on the survey ‘target’ species or habitat, but in general the zone of interest for development and a buffer around this is covered. A key aim of the surveys is to ascertain if there are any species and/or habitats which may be sensitive to the construction, operation and maintenance of the tidal array and associated infrastructure. Although survey work for some species covers all seasons, particular attention has been given to breeding periods (typically April to July) and specifically when seals are pupping (July for common seal, late autumn for grey seal).

Detailed geophysical surveys with additional ROV seabed video footage have been collected and analysed. The AfL area consists largely of exposed bedrock (Devonian sandstone), with thin patchy distribution of sediment cover. There are few pronounced features except in the north where depths of up to 54m are reached. Areas of highest resource generally correlate with bedrock exposure with significantly fewer seabed features found in these areas.

Geophysical data and ROV footage has confirmed a generally even seabed which would suit a range of tidal device options. Ecologically conditions appear comparable to those at similar depths and current velocities elsewhere around Orkney and are not considered to be particularly sensitive.

A resource assessment of the site has been undertaken utilising seven seabed mounted acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCP), and a resource model developed and calibrated based on this measured data. The model enables predictions of resource for specific areas. Mean spring peak tidal velocities have been determined to be in the order of 3.5m/s (msp).

Australia: Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park – South Australia

The Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park is a unique hybrid renewable energy development integrating wind and solar PV technology.

DP Energy has partnered with Spanish renewable energy giant Iberdrola to build the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park. With a capex of $500 million, the project will provide around 320 MW of power on land situated on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta, in South Australia.

A link to the project website can be found HERE