Building a sustainable blue economy

Building a sustainable blue economy

Esri Ireland puts Simply Blue at the crest of the marine development wave

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16th October, 2021

Esri Ireland is the market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), helping customers record where things happen and analyse why, with the aim of providing insight and helping them to make better decisions. GIS provides a framework of capabilities to visualise, analyse, optimise and ultimately understand the significance of location, place and geography.

Esri Ireland recently announced that its interactive digital mapping system is being used by marine developer Simply Blue to pioneer projects such as floating wind farms, wave power and aquaculture schemes.

Underpinning a sustainable blue economy

Headquartered in Cork, Simply Blue is the leading early-stage developer of transformative floating wind, wave energy and sustainable aquaculture projects in Ireland and the UK.

Initially, Esri Ireland’s digital mapping system, ArcGIS, will be used to support in-house decision-making. This will include identifying suitable locations for wind turbine fields and assessing how productive they might be by using a wide range of environmental and commercial criteria to analyse vast amounts of data and narrow down a shortlist of potential sites.

Underpinned by this advanced technology, Simply Blue has recently partnered with traditional energy companies to develop floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea. Simply Blue also plans to deploy ArcGIS to the area of aquaculture, such as a scheme to create new low-impact salmon farms, Loch Long Salmon, in Scotland.

Enabling better communication

The interactive mapping features will be used to communicate projects to communities and stakeholders, and ArcGIS could play a critical role in helping to convey how big wind farms will be, where they are and what they will look like from different vantage points. Additionally, Simply Blue hopes to use interactive maps to reassure fishermen that proposed marine developments will not affect fishing grounds.

The solution will also allow Simply Blue to collaborate more effectively with clients and consultants. The company will be able to view and share geospatial data in real-time and leverage GIS, especially in the planning and development phase of new sustainable energy projects, which is a focal point for the organisation as an early-stage developer.

Sam Bouma, energy resource modeller and data specialist at Simply Blue said: “We needed a reliable GIS that would meet our immediate requirements, but also support us in achieving our longer-term goals. We selected Esri Ireland’s ArcGIS because it has credibility. It is used by lots of other companies in this industry, so contractors and partners are familiar with it.

“We don’t live in a paper world anymore and being able to interact with maps to explore data on demand creates all kinds of opportunities. ArcGIS will also help to open up conversations with communities and key stakeholders to deliver information clearly and concisely.

“As things in the marine development industry are moving so fast, ArcGIS enables us to keep our options open. We will be able to pivot and deliver whatever is needed to ensure the sustainable use of the world’s oceans.”

Dermot O’Kane, head of sales, Esri Ireland, said: “Esri Ireland has delivered a highly interactive digital mapping solution which is set to play a key role in helping Simply Blue to continue to accelerate its business, and ultimately achieve its goal of building a sustainable blue economy. The solution is scalable and will align with Simply Blue’s business objectives and requirements as it continues to grow.

“Esri is delighted to work with Simply Blue on these exciting projects and help to drive the future of sustainable energy in Ireland and further afield.”

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