The Celtic Sea Cluster has released a new Regional Strategy that outlines how Wales and South West England can maximise floating offshore wind technology benefits, in line with the forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing process being delivered by the Crown Estate.
“The Celtic Sea Regional Strategy will provide the direction necessary to enable Wales and South West England to collaborate and maximise the huge economic opportunity offered by floating offshore wind. A single pan region strategy ensures individual local plans can focus on harnessing existing local strengths, targeting opportunities to galvanise supply chains, and find innovative ways to accelerate deployment which collectively will achieve the strategy objectives,” Vaughan Gething MS, Welsh Government Minister for Economy, said.
According to the Cluster, which is led by its founding partners, the Welsh Government, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Celtic Sea Power, Marine Energy Wales, and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the strategy will allow the region’s stakeholders to ensure their activities are aligned and can achieve their common objectives.
The Cluster’s ambition is to establish the Celtic Sea region as a world leader in floating offshore wind by 2030 and to deliver 4 GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea by 2035, with the potential to grow to 20 GW by 2045.
“The opportunity to deliver 4 GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea by 2035, with the potential to grow to 20 GW by 2045, is a massive undertaking. Success requires collaboration and strategic development to enable the deployment of sustainable, green, energy generation. Working across borders, we can play to each other’s strengths, identify gaps, and seek to maximise the strategic benefit to the regions we support,” Gething noted.
In summary, the Regional Strategy pledges to galvanise the regional supply chains, provide a single voice to engage with governments, regulators, and project developers, find innovative ways to accelerate deployment, and work with Celtic Sea users to protect the onshore and offshore environment.
Currently, the Cluster has over 240 members, including developers and supply chain companies with an interest in the floating wind in the Celtic Sea, and it is still open to join for free.
A seabed leasing tender for 4 GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea development areas will be launched in mid-2023. Participants will be expected to provide a plan of their early investment, alongside other legal, financial, and technical elements, in order to qualify for its final stage. According to the Crown Estate, the final award would be based on the price offered.
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