Spanish floating wind consortium IberBlue has unveiled plans for a 990MW development in the western Mediterranean Sea, in the latest sign of momentum-building in the deepwater sector play off Iberia.

The developer, a joint venture (JV) between Simply Blue and Spanish oufit Proes Consultores and FF NEV, said the Nao Victoria project, a 55-turbine array sited in the Alborean Sea off Andalusia, would supply electricity to “hundreds of thousands of homes” and “revitalise [the region’s] economic model”.

“Andalusia is an area with great potential for development of floating offshore wind energy and with this wind project we want to contribute to the region's positioning on the offshore wind sector,” said Adrián de Andrés, IberBlue’s vice president.

The project promises to make “a significant contribution to boosting the region's economic model”, said Iberdlue in a statement, adding “this area… is one of the strategic development objectives of the JV”.

IberBlue Wind said first development documents for the project, to be built over an area of some 310km2 at a site 25-40km off the coast, were now with Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge for approval.

The developer stressed the importance of “close collaboration” with the nearby ports of Cadiz and Malaga in building Nao Victoria, which is named after the Magellan-Elcano expedition’s vessel that was first to circumnavigate the globe in the 16th century.

“This project will play an important role in employment generation, as it will allow the creation of thousands of jobs,” said IberBlue.

IberBlue was set up in September with an eye developing some 2GW of floating wind projects via upcoming tenders in Spain and Portugal, two of the hottest emerging markets in Europe.

Consultancy DNV calculates floating projects currently make up over 15% of the total offshore wind deployment in the pipeline for switch-on by mid-century, equal to some 264GW of the 1,750GW slated to be installed.