The first floating wind farm off Wales has taken an important stride forward with the award of a marine licence to the project’s TotalEnergies-led Blue Gem developer consortium, which is building the 100MW array in the Celtic Sea.
Online, Erebus, to be constructed using unspecified 14MW turbines mated to semisubmersible Principle Power WindFloat platforms in 75 metres of water 40km off the Pembrokeshire coastline, would generate enough electricity to power 93,000 homes.
“Wales has the potential to be a world leader in offshore wind energy, and floating technology is key to unlocking the full potential of our coastlines as it generates economic growth and highly-skilled jobs,” said David Davies, UK secretary of state for Wales.
“This latest milestone for Blue Gem is a positive step forward for this expanding sector in Wales.”
Blue Gem Wind project manager Mike Scott said: “The project, [as] the first floating wind farm in Wales, will play a crucial role in advancing the deployment of what will become a globally important low carbon technology.”
The developer worked with contractors OWC, MarineSpace, ITPEnergised, and Burges Salmon on the environmental impact assessment process for Erebus, which is slated to be switched on in to in 2026.
Blue Gem Wind won the rights to develop the Erebus demonstrator in 2020. Since, several other projects have moved forward in the region, including the 40MW TwinHub being built off UK by Hexicon and Bechteloff the UK southwest.
Most recently, new-model offshore wind developer Corio Generation expanded its international portfolio ambitions with plans to bid to build floating arrays in the Celtic Sea with specialist outfit Morwind.
The UK government wants to bring 4GW of floating wind projects off southwest England and Wales via a tender later this year, with a view progressing toward a national offshore wind target set last April of having 50GW of offshore wind turning by 2030.