The Crown Estate is starting work on a new leasing opportunity for early commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea. The leasing process will step up the scale of such projects to around 300MW (three times larger than previous rights).
The Crown Estate said this was one outcome of engagement with market participants and other key stakeholders. It heard that:
- There is strong interest in new floating wind rights, from a capable and motivated pool of potential market participants
- The market is confident that current floating wind technology will allow the sector to move to the next phase and deploy early commercial scale projects
- There is appetite to develop 300MW projects, moving the sector into an ‘early commercial’ phase, with a desire for a further pipeline of opportunities
- Strong interest in project locations in the Celtic Sea - the waters in the region around the South Wales coast and the South West peninsular.
The organisation will also explore how to support smaller projects that help in developing new technologies for a range of seabed conditions and locations, and how to promote more collaboration across the sector to accelerate development.
This could include enabling actions such as shared infrastructure.
Last year the Crown Estate awarded rights to developers Blue Gem Wind, for the proposed 96MW Erebus floating wind project, in the Welsh waters of the Celtic Sea.
Huub den Rooijen, Director of The Crown Estate’s Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure portfolio said: “Today’s announcement is an important step in providing the market the confidence it needs to plan and invest, bringing with it huge opportunities for jobs and the supply chain.”