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Supernode calls for clear plan for grid technology as new chair appointed

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Supernode calls for clear plan for grid technology as new chair appointed

Supernode calls for clear plan for grid technology as new chair appointed
March 19
11:35 2024

SuperNode Ltd has welcomed Ireland’s Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy as new board members appointed following the passing of founder Eddie O’Connor, writes David Keniry.

The Dublin-based developer of innovative subsea and terrestrial superconducting electricity transmission cables has appointed Pat Cox as chairperson with Professor Sir Jim McDonald and Robert O’Connor to join Henrik O. Madsen, Former President and CEO of DNV, and Egil Boyum, Executive Vice President Aker Solutions on the board.

Cox has served on the SuperNode board since the company was established in 2018. The Former President of the European Parliament is currently the EU’s European Coordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN-T (transport) Core Network Corridor, chair of Gore Street Energy Storage Fund, and Chair at Ecocem.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is the current President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and an internationally recognised authority in the electricity supply industry. Rob O’Connor, who has been Chief Commercial Officer of SuperNode since 2018, has also joined Henrik O. Madsen, Former President and CEO of DNV, and Egil Boyum, Executive Vice President Aker Solutions on the board.

SuperNode Chairperson Pat Cox welcomed the new board members, stating that:

“No words can adequately express the sense of loss of SuperNode’s founder. Without hesitation we will continue delivering on Eddie’s vision of developing and deploying the next generation of superconducting transmission cable technology to decarbonise Europe’s energy supply using indigenous renewable sources.”

“SuperNode is delighted to add Sir Jim’s wealth of skills and expertise to the board. His experience and deep knowledge of the electricity sector will be an invaluable asset to SuperNode.”

“As SuperNode moves closer to commercialisation, establishing a manufacturing plant and pilot testing later this year, Rob O’Connor brings essential knowledge, experience and drive to SuperNode’s Board of Directors.”

Meanwhile, SuperNode CEO John Fitzgerald has welcomed the Irish Government’s recently unveiled Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy as a hugely positive commitment from Government to support Irish business and capitalise on Ireland’s abundant wind resource, but has called for more direct and stronger emphasis on developing the crucial grid infrastructure and lead in the development of grid technologies that are critical to Ireland’s energy and climate goals.

“The strategy could provide support for the entire offshore wind supply chain but should give more targeted support for the development of the grid. This island on the edge of Europe has the best wind resources in Europe. Ireland is in possession of an offshore energy resource more valuable per citizen than anywhere else. We would squander a rare opportunity if we don’t start to urgently plan how to get the energy to consumers throughout Europe,” Fitzgerald said.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE) has collaborated with other government bodies in the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce (OWDT) to develop Ireland’s first Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy. This strategy outlines 40 actions to be implemented between 2024 and 2025 aimed at strengthening the offshore wind supply chain in Ireland.

Fitzgerald continued: “The grid is absolutely essential to our renewable energy, energy independence and climate ambitions and we should look to become leaders in the development of those innovative grid technologies needed to deliver it to families and businesses.”

The passing of Eddie O’Connor left a void at a crucial stage in the development and transmission of Ireland’s renewable energy resources to Europe. The appointment of Pat Cox with his extensive experience, passion for European cooperation, and key insights into infrastructure delivery, decarbonisation, and policy should be broadly welcomed and provide CEO John Fitzgerald, Rob O’Connor, and the team at Supernode the continuity and leadership required for delivering on Eddie O’Connor’s vision.

With Ireland’s offshore renewable future framework to be unveiled this week and the industrial strategy rolled out it is crucial that stakeholders heed the knowledgeable messages of those Eddie O’Connor trusted to lead the delivery of his vision, a vision that was rarely off the mark. 



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