Global offshore wind pacesetter Orsted has taken a majority stake in the pioneering Salamander floating wind project being developed in the UK North Sea by Simply Blue and Subsea 7.

Through the deal, the Danish developer takes an 80% interest in Salamander, a 100MW ‘stepping-stone’ off the east coast of Scotland planned to be progressed via the innovation track of Crown Estate Scotland’s upcoming Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round later this year.

“This promising project further expands Orsted’s engagement in floating wind and will provide a lot of learnings that we can apply on ScotWind and other floating wind projects as the technology transitions from demo projects to utility scale,” said Orsted chief commercial officer Martin Neubert.

“Orsted has been driving the commercialisation of bottom-fixed offshore wind for 30 years, and during the next decade we want to help make floating wind similarly successful through projects such as this one.”

Simply Blue CEO Sam Roch-Perks said: “Orsted is a leading player in renewable energy and brings considerable expertise to the Salamander project.

“As a floating wind developer, Simply Blue wants to contribute to the development of the Scottish offshore wind market and its supply chain. Scotland is one of the best locations on the planet for the development of floating wind projects and we look forward to the collaboration with Orsted on this important project.”

John Evans, CEO of Subsea 7, said: “The intention from the outset was to establish Salamander as a project that would be of interest to major players in offshore renewable energy.

“The project will be a key step towards fulfilling the ambitions for floating wind offshore in Scotland, which has an important role to play in the energy transition and the journey to net-zero.”

Boutique investment house Green Giraffe acted as advisor to Simply Blue and Subsea 7 on the Salamander joint venture with Orsted.

The announcement marks the second tie-up in as many days for Orsted in the floating wind space, with the developer yesterday (Tuesday) having agreed a deal with Madrid-based Repsol to pursue projects in Spain’s deep water regions.

Simply Blue also inked a partnership deal yesterday with Spanish outfits Proes Consultores and FF New Energy Venture to explore development of floating wind projects in the Iberia region.

Floating wind power’s global build-out this decade has been forecast by the Global Wind Energy Council to reach over 16GW, though some analysts remain concerned that outdated current government policy frameworks have the potential of limiting the sector to deploying as little as 5GW by 2030.