Irish research is at the forefront of international efforts to accelerate the development of large-scale floating wind energy (FLOW) farms, thanks to a new SEAI-funded project: IDEA-IRL: Integrated Design of FLOW Arrays – Ireland.

IDEA-IRL will produce a long-term FLOW development roadmap for Ireland, identifying recommendations to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits.

Coordinated by MaREI, University College Cork

This €800,000 project, is coordinated by MaREI, University College Cork (the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation), and includes project partners Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) and Wind Energy Ireland (WEI). 

FLOW is a rapidly emerging industry. By 2050, DNV predict that FLOW will generate 264 GW. Irish offshore wind is a considerable natural resource, with targets to deploy 5 GW of fixed offshore wind by 2030 (with 2 GW of FLOW in development) and 30 GW of FLOW thereafter.

In 2020, GDG and UCC recognised the critical need to tackle the challenges to large-scale FLOW development and explore the immense potential of this industry for Ireland, and globally. Following a three-day meeting to discuss the topic with 103 leading international FLOW experts, GDG; the prestigious National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, USA); and IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN, France) initiated a project to address the pressing research requirements for FLOW arrays under the esteemed framework of the International Energy Association (IEA) Wind Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP). The IDEA project (IEA TCP Wind Task 49) began in 2022, encompassing over 100 organisations from 11 countries.

This work primarily relies on the collaboration and alignment of national and international research projects rather than direct funding. IDEA-IRL will support Ireland's involvement in Task 49 and facilitate more in-depth and Ireland-specific research into FLOW array opportunities.


  • Deliver a set of fully defined reference sites characteristic of the international global FLOW deployment pipeline including relevant technical, social, environmental and economic parameters;
  • Deliver a set of fully open source and customisable FLOW array reference farm designs including key engineering tool input files, cost and environmental impact models;
  • Deliver a Failure Mode, Effects & Criticality Analysis framework for FLOW arrays including for coupled/cascading failures;
  • Engage with the international groups developing innovations for the FLOW energy industry, categorise in terms of impact and ensure that functionality for their development is included in the reference farm definitions;
  • Engage with the international agencies responsible for Marine Spatial Planning to collect open research questions and concerns. Ensure that the reference sites/farms enable the research to address them;
  • Apply the work of Task 49 in an Irish context and engage with the local supply chain to provide specific policy recommendations and development pathways;
  • Raise the profile of FLOW energy technology, related research and expertise in Ireland through the delivery of a multifaceted communications strategy.

This is a significant opportunity to drive innovation towards a cleaner, greener future! You can contact the project at; check out our website; follow us on LinkedIn; and sign up to our mailing list to receive news and for opportunities to get involved eg, surveys, interviews etc.