The Crown Estate, as manager of the seabed around Wales, England and Northern Ireland, has awarded rights for two offshore wind projects in Wales. Seabed right have been given to developers Blue Gem Wind for the proposed 96 MW Erebus floating wind demonstration project, located in the Welsh waters of the Celtic Sea, approximately 44km from shore.
The project comes forward as part of The Crown Estate’s ongoing Offshore Wind Test and Demonstration opportunity, designed to facilitate pre-commercial innovation through the trial of new and emerging technologies in live conditions.
“This first project in Wales will begin to unlock the significant potential of floating wind in the Celtic Sea. It is the first of the stepping-stone projects required to launch a new chapter in the development of offshore energy in the South West; a new industry that can deliver significant benefits for the local supply chain and the coastal communities of Wales and the wider UK,” said Hugh Kelly, project managing director of Blue Gem Wind.
The rights will allow Blue Gem Wind to progress with environmental assessments and surveys, secure access to the grid and seek planning consent.
This announcement builds on The Crown Estate’s award of seabed rights for the proposed extension to the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm, known as Awel y Môr, located off the coast of North Wales. Once consented, the extension could deliver up to 576 MW of capacity.
“Welsh waters are home to a thriving offshore wind industry and as this continues to evolve and mature, innovation will be vital to unlocking a sustainable pipeline of new capacity over the longer term,” added Will Apps, head of energy development at The Crown Estate.