UK advances floating offshore wind pilot trio

Developers pass milestones for technical competence, delivery capability and technological innovation set by seabed landlord

Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios had previously developed the 50MW Kincardine floating offshore wind project off Scotland
Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios had previously developed the 50MW Kincardine floating offshore wind project off Scotland

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UK seabed landlord the Crown Estate has given the green light to three floating offshore wind pilots in the Celtic Sea to proceed to the next stage of the assessment.

The three projects — with a combined capacity of 300MW — have satisfied the Crown Estate’s initial application criteria, including technical competence, delivery capability and technological innovation, it stated.

Their developers had applied through the Crown Estate’s test and demonstration leasing opportunity, through which it aims to support innovative technologies to help the UK’s energy transition.

The seabed landlord gave initial approval to:

  • The 100MW Whitecross Whitecross (100MW) Offshoreoff Devon and Cornwall, UK, Europe Click to see full details project off Devon and Cornwall in south-west England, being developed by Offshore Wind Limited, a joint venture of Spanish engineers Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios – which previously developed the Kincardine floating offshore wind project off Scotland – and Flotation Energy;
  • The 100MW Llŷr 1 Llŷr 1 (100MW) Offshoreoff Pembroke, Wales, UK, Europe Click to see full details and 100MW Llŷr 2 Llŷr 2 (100MW) Offshoreoff Pembroke, Wales, UK, Europe Click to see full details projects, south of Pembroke on the Welsh coast, being developed by Floventis Energy Limited, a new joint venture of SBM Offshore and Cierco.

The three projects are all set to test new foundation and mooring technologies, using new designs, materials and construction approaches, according to the Crown Estate.

No further details were supplied regarding which technologies, materials and construction approaches will be used.

The projects will also support the development and momentum of the regional supply chain and could count towards the UK government’s aims of having 1GW of operational floating offshore wind by 2030.

Projects will next be subject to plan-level habitats regulation assessment to assess their impacts on protected marine habitats.

If they pass this assessment,their developers could then be granted seabed leases. The developers would then carry out environmental assessments and see project permits.

Metocean studies

Elsewhere in the Celtic Sea, Blue Gem Wind (BGW), a joint venture between Simply Blue Energy and TotalEnergies, has launched a metocean study to support development of its 96MW Erebus Erebus (96MW) Offshoreoff Pembroke Dock, Wales, UK, Europe Click to see full details and 300MW Valorous Valorous (300MW) Offshoreoff Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK, Europe Click to see full details projects.

ABPmer will study the environmental conditions at both sites to inform front-end engineering design and detailed designs.

The study is due to be carried out in late summer 2021.

It will also provide extreme and operational metocean criteria for the array and export cable corridors for both projects.

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