Annual Report 2014

James Tedd
Project Manager


The ocean energy sector needs the first precommercial projects in the water, and your organization has a leading role worldwide, could you give some information of your short to medium term plans given the actual conditions?

James Tedd: ESB is developing the ESB Westwave project and is seeking to develop Ireland’s first electricity from the Atlantic wave energy. ESB is investigating and developing a site near Doonbeg, Co Clare for 5 MW of wave energy devices - this is equivalent to the combined demand of nearby towns Doonbeg, Kilkee, and Kilrush. The ambitious project, which aims for operations to commence in 2018, is a first of its kind in Ireland. It is larger than anything developed to date, and is in line with a number of comparable projects under development in Europe.

Successful development and delivery of the ESB Westwave project will support the aims of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan through job creation, and communicating that Ireland is open for business. The development phase of the project is supported by SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). EC NER300 funding of 23 M€ has been awarded to the project which, together with government capital and revenue will support the investment in the project.

The primary challenge for the project is the development of technology to a level at which ESB can proceed with sufficient confidence. We provided a thorough discussion on this in OES paper 2012 ( Following successful operation of the ESB Westwave project and progressive development in wave technology, ESB intends to build out further wave energy project as part of ESB generation portfolio.


Project development involve a wide variety of risks, including technical, regulatory and financial, could you describe which are the most critical ones you have encounter/are encountering and how could they be overcome?

James Tedd: As a utility ESB is able to draw upon our experience in developing a range of generation project. ESB has implemented our in house Project Delivery Model to manage the ESB Westwave Project. This has allowed ESB to manage the project risks. The key risk in developing the ESB Westwave project is the pace of development of the technology, as wave energy technology is novel with a number of companies testing prototype devices internationally. ESB has managed this through a Design Competition. ESB has established a design competition which will purchase the most competitive wave energy devices where prototype devices have proven their production and technical readiness for the extremes of the west of Ireland. The competition has been structured as a competitive dialogue announced on the OJEU.


The on-going information from this dialogue have been used to inform the development of the ESB Westwave project and mitigate the risks in the area of regulations, finances and public acceptance.

If support measures are put in place in order to overcome those barriers, can you identify the responsible stakeholders for delivering solutions, such as, governments, supply chain, research sector, etc and what would be the expected improvement in terms of your project pipeline and cost reduction that could be achieved?

James Tedd: The key requirement for the Ocean Energy sector is an increase in confidence in the technologies. The technology development has been characterised by SME led projects testing individual technologies. A number of these concepts have demonstrated devices with the capability to convert the energy into electricity. However very few devices have progressed into regular operation. This lack of development is hampering the development of the first array projects. Partnerships across industry and government agencies should focus on proving the operation of devices to the level where their performance can be well characterised and confidence can be gained.

How do you see that international collaboration could accelerate ocean energy growth and what, specifically, is the role that you would like OES to play in supporting the development of ocean energy?

James Tedd: Collaboration is key in innovative projects like ESB Westwave. The project has collaborated on wave resource data with Irish universities (UCC, UCD, NUIG), and with Infomar National Seabed Survey programme in terms of seabed data. ESB is collaborating with international partners to further the project including technology developers, and engineering experts. ESB is active in the development of IEC standards for Ocean Energy, which are important as the industry develops.

The role of the OES in publishing the international state of the art in Ocean Energy is valuable.