Marine-i has welcomed the latest development in the emerging Celtic Sea floating offshore wind industry.
Last week, the Welsh Government granted consent for Wales’ first floating windfarm located 40 km off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Project Erebus will house seven 14 MW turbines on floating platforms, providing enough low carbon energy to power 93,000 homes. Blue Gem Wind is on target to begin operating the project in 2026.
Erebus is part of the first phase of a 4 GW renewable energy development in the Celtic Sea, which would provide enough power for 4 million homes. Future phases of the development could realise an additional 20 GW of renewable energy.
Prof Lars Johanning, programme director for Marine-i, said: “Floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Celtic Sea (an area off the coast of Cornwall, West Wales and the south of Ireland) has some of the best wind resources in Europe and is ideal for floating offshore wind development. This has the potential to open up new markets for local suppliers and create thousands of high-quality jobs.”
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.
First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, said: “In determining the marine license and the planning consents, the Welsh Government have enabled this project to move forward to apply for subsidy support from the UK Government. I urge the UK Government to do its part through the Contracts for Difference process to drive the industry forward by working with the Erebus team to secure the first floating offshore wind project in Welsh waters.”
Prof Lars Johanning added: “I applaud this decision by the Welsh Government. Floating offshore wind offers massive potential for innovation amongst suppliers in the Celtic Sea region.
“Already, we have seen many of the innovative businesses supported by Marine-i in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly rise to the challenge, developing new products and services to meet the needs of this fast-growing industry in the Celtic Sea.
“The Marine-i project is soon drawing to a close after six successful years, but it has acted as a launchpad for many innovative businesses, with nearly 200 business projects supported. We are at the beginning of an exciting era of opportunity for marine tech businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
Many of the innovations developed by businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the floating offshore wind market can be seen in the Marine-i showcase publication, launched this month.