EDF Renewables has announced it will install up to five turbines as phase two of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator on floating sub structures, with turbines potentially in operation by 2025.
Phase one has five wind turbines and was constructed in 2017. It was the first UK offshore wind farm to utilise float and submerge gravity base foundations, as well as 66KV rated inter array and export cables to connect the turbines to an onshore substation.
EDF Renewables is already working on project planning for phase two with a consent variation and procurement activities underway for the new turbines in an already identified array location 14km from the shore in water depths of around 55m. The project has yet to select the key contractors including the turbine supplier but a range of floating technology options are being considered, with the final design still to be determined by further detailed engineering studies.
The capacity for phase two has still to be finalised but existing consents allow a further capacity of 58.4MW.
Director of Offshore wind at EDF Renewables, Michele Schiavone said : “We are very excited about this next phase of the BOD project and want to further the demonstration of construction and operation of floating turbines to show that floating wind is technically feasible and cost competitive in water depths of 50-60m.
“With the Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism providing a potential route to market, we are confident that floating turbine technology can accelerate the UK’s journey to a net zero future where clean energy powers all our lives. We will use the project to support the further development of this emerging technology.”
The development timescale for phase two has not yet been finalised. However, subject to detailed programming, the target is for it to be fully commissioned by Spring 2025.
RenewableUK’s Head of Policy and Regulation Rebecca Williams said: “This is one of the first floating offshore wind projects in English waters to be announced. It will build on the success of our world-leading floating wind farms already generating off the coast of Scotland. Further projects are being planned in Scotland and Wales. The more floating wind we install in UK waters, the cheaper it will become – and we can build up our supply chain and export our innovative technology worldwide. We need to maximise the use of this technology to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible.
“As the landmark report published by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult this week shows, floating wind can repeat the success of fixed-bottom offshore wind by becoming subsidy-free within a decade, which is good news for consumers as well as for the environment”.