Renewables

Marine-i Welcomes Crown Estate Plan for Floating Offshore Wind in the Celtic Sea

Marine-i says that it fully supports the Crown Estate proposals announced this week for floating offshore wind leasing in the Celtic Sea. The Crown Estate aims to unlock up to 4GW of capacity and help establish a new industrial sector.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

The plans from the Crown Estate include a focus on two key project categories: early commercial-scale projects of 300-350MW and full commercial-scale projects of up to 1GW. The leasing process could see rights awarded by the end of 2023, with projects delivered from 2030 into the early part of the next decade.

Also included in the proposals are details of leasing “designed at a pace and scale” to support supply chain and infrastructure development, helping to underpin a sustainable future for the sector, and ensure that the South West, Wales, and the wider UK benefit from the industrial opportunity.

The Crown Estate will also work with the electricity system operator and others to support a coordinated grid solution for floating wind projects, in line with the work underway through the Offshore Transmission Network Review, to accelerate grid development and mitigate impacts on communities onshore.

The Crown Estate will now begin the next stages of its engagement with market and stakeholders on the floating wind program, which will take place in two phases over the winter of 2021/22. Phase one will focus on the spatial design, gathering data and evidence to help inform the location of project sites. Phase two will invite views on the design of the market tender and the wider considerations of the programme, including on supply chain, ports and grid, as well as community benefits, such as skills and employment.

Crown Estate marine managing director Huub den Rooijen said: “Floating wind technology offers a powerful opportunity to open up the renewable energy resources of the Celtic Sea, helping to tackle the climate crisis with additional clean power and ignite a new industrial sector. We are focused on realising this potential in a way that supports the development of the regional supply chain and infrastructure, protects our marine environment, and harnesses the opportunity for local communities.”

Prof Lars Johanning, Program Director for Marine-i said: “These proposals represent an important step forward in the goal of developing floating offshore wind power in the Celtic Sea. This technology could have a huge impact on the economic prospects of our region. We have access to one of the world’s best locations for floating offshore windfarms, and the local engineering expertise to build them. We and the UK Government believe this technology will play a crucial role in delivering our country’s goal of a Net Zero economy by 2050.”

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