Two floating LiDAR buoys have been deployed in the UK Celtic Sea, between Cornwall and Wales, to provide data to pave the way for the development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, which the Crown Estate has earmarked for up to 4 GW of new clean energy capacity by 2035.
The WINDSEA floating LiDAR systems, provided by French company Akrocean, were deployed earlier this week out of Falmouth by specialist marine contractor Keynvor MorLift.
The buoys, now in pace some 97 kilometres offshore, are expected to remain there offshore for one year, gathering data that will build an accurate picture of the wind profile out at sea and form a broad-scale wind resource model that will benefit the region, according to Celtic Sea Power, which is leading the project.
“The data from these Floating LiDAR systems will benefit Cornwall, South Wales and the wider South West by feeding into a bank grade regional wind resource model. This model will then be validated by external experts (at Wood Group) to support investment decisions for [floating offshore wind] sites across the UK Celtic Sea region. It will also help reduce the time it takes to install floating offshore wind farms”, said Neil Farrington, Strategic Offshore Development Manager at Celtic Sea Power.
Celtic Sea Power estimates that having 3 GW of capacity installed or under development in the Celtic Sea by 2030 would create at least 1,500 primary jobs, around 9,600 broader jobs, and GBP 900 million (around EUR 1 billion) of net additional GVA.
According to the company, some 20 offshore wind energy developers are already interested in the Celtic Sea as a location, for which the Crown Estate is now working to speed up the floating wind deployment.
Collaborative work with floating wind developers in the area will also enable access to other floating LiDAR data sets from deployments in the region, Celtic Sea Power said. This principal of data sharing will provide additional validation of the regional wind resource model and help accelerate development to the benefit of the South West and Wales.
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