Floating Wind Partners Up Italian Portfolio to 4.6 GW

Nora Ventu, a company set up by Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy, has launched a consultation to provide local communities with more information on two floating wind projects to be developed in the Gulf of Cagliari offshore Italy.

Nora Ventu, set up to develop floating offshore wind farms off the Sardinian coast, has begun a series of meetings with local stakeholders to outline its proposals for two offshore floating wind farms, Nora Energia 1 in the south-west, and Nora Energia 2 in the south-east, which together would have a total of around 1.4 GW of installed capacity.

The Nora Energia 1 wind farm will comprise 53 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 795 MW. The wind farm is located in the sea area of the Sardinian Channel southwest of the Gulf of Cagliari, positioned at distances between 22 and 34 kilometres from the coast.

The 600 MW Nora Energia 2 will consist of 40 wind turbines in the stretch of the sea inside the Sardinian Channel and south-east of the Gulf of Cagliari, located about 30 kilometres south of Capo Carbonara.

Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy already have several floating wind projects under development in Italy. These include the 675 MW Minervia Energia wind farm in the Gulf of Squillace, the 1.3 GW Odra Energia off the province of Lecce, the 1.2 GW Kailia Energia off Brindisi.

The five projects have a combined capacity of around 4.6 GW.

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This local engagement for the Nora Ventu projects starts before the beginning of the authorization procedure, the first step of which will be a preliminary consultation process aimed at defining the scope of the environmental impact study.

Requests for a maritime concession for each of the two projects were filed with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility and the Port System Authority of Cagliari at the end of December 2021.

The benefits of the proposed projects for the local economy and supply chain are considerable, with an estimated 4,000 direct jobs being created in the manufacturing, assembly and construction phases, the developers said. Once operational, the projects are expected to generate more than 300 long-term jobs for maintenance activities, of which around 80 per cent of the workforce is expected to come from the local area.

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Goods and services for the construction and maintenance of the floating offshore wind farm will be primarily sourced from local companies, making the most of the local workforce, expanding skills through advanced training schemes, and providing significant opportunities for local businesses, during both construction and operation phases, the developers said.

Local infrastructure is also expected to benefit as the projects would rely on the main industrial ports, such as the Port of Cagliari, for the assembly, operations and maintenance of the wind farms, allowing diversification of their infrastructure and services.

As the wind farm projects develop, there will be opportunities for study and research and the potential to work in partnership with Sardinian universities, research centres and technology parks on cutting-edge projects.

Visual impact analyses already carried out and due to be submitted in the coming weeks, show that the proposed offshore wind farms, which would be located outside the territorial waters, would be almost imperceptible to the human eye from the coast, the developers said.

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Photo: Illustration; Photo source: JDR Cables (WindFloat Atlantic)