Falck and BlueFloat plan floating offshore wind in Italy

Partners to start authorisation process for 1.2GW Kailia Energia wind farm and preliminary analysis for a second site in Apulia

Members of BlueFloat’s senior management team helped develop EDPR’s WindFloat Atlantic project
Members of BlueFloat’s senior management team helped develop EDPR’s WindFloat Atlantic project

Italian developer Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy have formed a 50:50 partnership to develop floating offshore wind in Italy, starting with a 1.2GW project in the southern Italian region of Apulia. 

The partners say they will shortly begin the authorisation process for the 1200MW Kailia Energia Kailia Energia (1200MW) Offshoreoff Brindisi, Apulia, Italy, Europe Click to see full details wind farm, to be sited in the waters off Brindisi, with the filing of documentation with Italy’s ministry for the ecological transition.  At the same time, the duo will seek the maritime concession from the infrastructure ministry and the Southern Adriatic Sea port authority, they said. 

Falck and BlueFloat highlighted the benefits to the local community from their project, noting that they had already begun discussions with local stakeholders. 

They expect that up to 4,000 direct jobs could be created during the manufacturing, assembly, and construction phase of Kailia Energia, which is also seen providing opportunities for the local supply chain, ports and research and development at local universities and technology clusters. 

Estimated annual production from the wind farm is 3.5TWh. 

Falck and BlueFloat have started conducting preliminary analysis for a second floating offshore wind farm in Apulia, they said.  

In a partnership with Ørsted, the two companies are already working together to develop floating offshore wind off Scotland. 

Italy currently has no offshore wind capacity, with either floating or fixed-bottom technology. Renexia is constructing the 30MW Port of Taranto wind farm, a near-shore project that uses fixed-bottom technology and is expected to be completed next year. 

Italian wind energy association Anev has set a target of 5GW for floating offshore wind off Italy’s coasts by 2040. Prospects for floating offshore are seen as better than for fixed-bottom projects given Italy’s generally deep seas. 

The announcement of Falck and BlueFloat’s plans for offshore floating wind in Italy comes after the ministry for the ecological transition in June sought expressions of interest for developing floating offshore wind projects in Italy. 

The ministry said on 24 September that it had received 64 expressions of interest, including 55 from companies and consortia. It noted that there are already 16 floating offshore wind projects under development. The government is currently holding bilateral meetings with project sponsors. 

Alongside Falck and BlueFloat, Italian energy groups ERG and Edison – both big players in Italian onshore wind – are among those interested in building floating offshore wind farms in Italy, as are oil and gas group Eni, oil and gas contractor Saipem and utility Sorgenia, according to local media reports. 

Meanwhile, Italian state energy management agency GSE on 30 September opened the last of seven scheduled joint wind and solar tenders, with 20-year contracts for difference (CfDs) being offered for some 3.3GW in projects over 1MW. Tender results will be announced in January 2021. 

In the just completed sixth tender, CfDs were awarded to 296MW in onshore wind farms and 299MW in solar plants. Roberto Cingolani, Italy’s minister for the ecological transition, said the government would shortly publish a road map for renewable energy auctions for the next five years.

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