The Crown Estate has selected three floating offshore wind demonstration projects through its recently launched leasing opportunity for early commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
The three projects have been proposed by two joint ventures, Offshore Wind Ltd (OWL), a joint venture between Cobra and Flotation Energy, and Floventis Energy Limited, a newly established joint venture between SBM Offshore and Cierco.
OWL, which is also behind one of the six projects the Crown Estate selected in the UK Round 4 leasing, has now been selected as a preferred bidder to develop its 100 MW Whitecross floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea.
Floventis Energy has been chosen to build two floating wind projects, Llŷr and Llŷr 2, each with a capacity of 100 MW.
The formal award of seabed rights is subject to a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), following which, the projects will progress with environmental assessments and surveys in line with the regulatory consent processes.
The Crown Estate announced it was commencing work to design and deliver a new leasing opportunity for early commercial-scale floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea in March, shortly after it selected preferred bidders in the Round 4 offshore wind seabed leasing.
The UK seabed manager decided to focus on floating wind projects of circa 300 MW in scale and said it would also explore how best to support pre-commercial, smaller projects that are an important part of developing new technologies for a range of seabed conditions and locations.
“Floating offshore wind is the next frontier of the UK’s clean energy ambitions, offering an exciting opportunity to deliver more green energy, in new areas offshore”, Huub den Rooijen, Director of The Crown Estate’s Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure portfolio, said in March.
“As a technology that will be important for the UK’s pathway to net zero, we are focused on helping to unlock its potential in a way that is sensitive to our precious marine habitats, considers interactions with other uses of the sea, and is compatible with other critical processes such as the tender for Leasing Round 4”.
The UK Government’s ambition is to have 40 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 1 GW of floating wind by that time.