Mainstream Renewable Power is to create 100 jobs in Dublin as it looks to develop three offshore wind energy projects in Ireland.

The renewable energy firm is conducting early stage development activity in sites on the east, south-east and west coasts of Ireland, with "significant offshore wind energy developments" planned for each location.

This would mark its return to the Irish market, three years after it sold its last wind farm here.

As part of that expansion, as well as its global growth, Mainstream plans to create over 100 new jobs here over the next three years.

That comes as its global staffing levels have almost doubled to 650 since January 2021.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland Mainstream Renewable Power's CEO Mary Quaney described the announcement as a "really exciting day" for the company.

"Our global presence spans solar and wind, onshore as well as offshore, right across Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific," she said. "We've welcomed new shareholders.. and they've really positioned the company for a period of accelerated growth.

"We've doubled our headcount in that time and now we've a presence across 20 markets."

Mainstream Renewable Power was founded in Ireland in 2008 by former Airtricity chief Eddie O'Connor.

Today it is majority Norwegian-owned, following a tie-up with Aker Horizons. In March it also took on a €575m investment from Japan's Mitsui & Co.

Mainstream's global portfolio consists of 27 gigawatts worth of wind and solar assets, based in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Its return to the Irish market comes more than a year after the Government published its framework on the development of offshore wind generation.

A number of projects are now planned for the country's coast, however concerns have been raised about the slow pace of the planning system.

Earlier this year Wind Energy Ireland, the representative group of the industry, called for an overhaul at An Bord Pleanála to ensure energy generation projects were prioritised.

Ms Quaney said she backed that call.

"The right policies and structures are absolutely necessary for the deployment of offshore wind, and particularly in the timescale in which it is required," she said. "There are a lot of activities underway and they need to be prioritised as a matter of urgency."

Ms Quaney also said the potential impact of offshore wind on wildlife would also form part of its consideration when looking to develop sites on the Irish coast.

She said her company's experience in developing wind farms, particularly in Britain, would help it to be prepared for the challenges of undertaking projects in this country too.