From its headquarters in Buttevant in North Cork, DP Energy operates sustainable energy projects in Ireland and overseas in Scotland, Canada and Australia.
DP Energy was founded in 1994 by Maureen De Pietro, a pioneer in the field of renewable energies.
Maureen’s son Simon joined her after turning down the opportunity to join Solar Turbines, an American company based in San Diego, Calif., As a gas turbine engineer.
In the years that followed, DP Energy gained a worldwide reputation as a developer of renewable energy projects spanning wind, solar and onshore tidal power.
Simon De Pietro is the CEO of the company and also co-president of Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), a position he has held for several years.
The OEE is the largest network of ocean energy professionals in the world. Its mission is to promote the development of marine energies.
Sustainability is a fundamental principle for DP Energy, whose team comes from a wide range of specialties, including engineering, marine sciences, project management and technical assistance.
The company’s main projects currently focus on a joint venture that the Cork-based company has with Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant.
Together, they are developing three offshore wind projects off the Irish coast. All three pipeline projects will use floating wind technology.
Projects include Inis Ealga in Cork and Clarus in Clare. The third project, Shelmalere, will be located off the east coast and will have a fixed foundation.
Iberdrola has acquired a three gigawatt offshore wind energy pipeline and a controlling stake in the offshore operations of DP Energy.
The partnership with Iberdrola was born out of work carried out by DP Energy on onshore wind projects in Scottish Power’s territory – Scottish Power is a subsidiary of Iberdrola.
Iberdrola also recently acquired Port Augusta, another project from DP Energy based in South Australia.
Currently under construction, Port Augusta will use a hybrid mix of wind and solar energy.
De Pietro was, he said, “more than satisfied” with his company’s collaboration with Iberdrola, as a fundamental challenge in the supply of offshore wind energy was often the simple cost of construction.
“DP Energy decided many years ago that we wanted to develop Irish offshore wind power, but we recognized that we needed a partner,” said De Pietro.
“It was important to us that this partner shared a similar commitment to climate change and an ethical approach to development. Iberdrola corresponded to this bill.
“It is a global energy leader and one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the world. She also has solid experience in the development of offshore wind power.
A “light bulb moment” in De Pietro’s own journey into renewable energy came when he watched The Blue Planet, the 1990 film Imax, which featured images of the Earth shot from shuttles. space in orbit around the planet.
What struck De Pietro most was the way the film portrayed the fragility of our planet’s ecology and climate, and the evidence of damage from deforestation, pollution and uncontrolled carbon emissions.
Shortly after, De Pietro’s mother Maureen visited an animal shelter in Cambridgeshire, England and came across a small wind turbine there, producing clean electricity.
The realization that wind power could help reduce global carbon emissions led Maureen to her own revelation. She decided to quit her work as a partner in a Bristol law firm to embark on a new career in wind energy with Simon by her side.
During his own 30-year career in renewable energy development, Simon De Pietro has met his fair share of climate change skeptics and deniers. However, he is open to dialogue.
“We are happy to talk to anyone. At the end of the day, everyone has a right to an opinion. If that opinion is that they just don’t like the look of wind turbines, even after considering the benefits, then that’s fair enough, ”he said.
“The biggest challenge is making sure that accurate information is available to people, as misinformation is rife.”
DP Energy’s approach to its own renewable energy projects was “harmless to the environment,” said De Pietro.
“Sustainable development is development that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” he said.
“We have conducted sustainable developments in a way that has the least possible impact on other species and the oceans, land and air that we all share together.”
DP Energy has an exciting future ahead of it. “Our plans for the Irish offshore market in particular are very solid for the next few years,” said De Pietro.
“Each of DP Energy / Iberdrola’s three offshore wind projects has the potential to generate one gigawatt of renewable energy, enough to power over 700,000 homes.
“Our team is currently working hard to design, agree and implement these programs to contribute to Ireland’s climate action plan of 70% renewable energy by the 2030 target.