In March 2020, Total teamed up with Simply Blue Energy in a JV named Blue Gem Wind, to develop floating wind sites in the Welsh waters of the Celtic Sea. An application was submitted at that time to the Crown Estate for the first demonstration site, the 100MW Erebus Project south of Pembroke Dock where Blue Gem Wind has recently set up a new office. This site and others that are planned to follow will be developed for deployment of Principle Power’s WindFloat® technology with the turbines being chosen during the development process.

Simply Blue Energy as part of Blue Gem Wind has been engaging with the local supply chain around the Celtic Sea to help them be ready to take part in this development. The target commissioning date is for the mid-2020s and will be subject to the availability of suitable revenue support as described in Renewable UK’s recent report Floating Wind, the UK Industry Ambition published in October 2019. Simply Blue Energy was represented on the task force that drew up the report. The opportunity has been given a lift by the launch, on 2nd March 2020, of the government’s consultation on amendments to the CFD scheme which made significant proposals on how it will support this new sector.

A report by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult focusing on supply chain opportunities  produced for the Welsh Government and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership identified that floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea could support 3,200 jobs in south west England and Wales and bring £682m in benefits to the local supply chain by 2030.

The Messapia project, located about 30km off the Otranto coast in Italy, will have a total capacity of 1.3 GW and will be able to provide annual power generation of about 3.8 TWh.

The Krimisa project, located about 45km off the coast of Crotone in Italy, will have a total capacity of 1.1 GW and will be able to provide annual energy production of up to 3.5 TWh.

Overall, it is estimated that the two projects will be able to cover the energy needs corresponding to the electricity consumption of more than 2.5 million households, contributing to Italy’s decarbonization goals. The team will work alongside local communities and other key industry players to develop innovative technological solutions and consolidate the Italian floating offshore wind supply chain.

The Emerald Floating Wind Project, situated in the Celtic Sea off the south coast of Ireland, will utilise cutting-edge Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology to construct a wind farm which, upon completion, will have a total installed capacity of up to 1.3 GW. This is equivalent to powering over 1 million Irish homes.

The proposed project could transform the maritime area that previously was home to the Kinsale gas platform into a zone where renewable energy is produced from the wind. The project will also help Ireland to improve energy security and decarbonize the energy supply while playing an important role in helping the Irish government meet its target of 2GW floating wind in development by 2030.

The use of floating technologies allows wind turbines to be located in deeper waters than fixed-bottom turbines. This allows the turbines to be placed further from shore (35-60km offshore) which will reduce visual impacts and gain access to better wind speeds.

The Western Star Floating Wind Project, situated in the Atlantic Ocean, off west coast of Ireland, will utilise cutting-edge Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) technology to construct a wind farm which, upon completion, will have a total installed capacity of up to 1.35 GW. This is equivalent to powering over 1 million Irish homes.

The proposed project will help Ireland to improve energy security and decarbonize the energy supply while playing an important role in helping the Irish government meet its target of 2GW floating wind in development by 2030.

The innovative floating technology proposed for this project will allow the turbines to be located far from shore and in waters over 100m deep where traditional fixed bottom turbine foundations would be uneconomical. This allows the turbines to be placed further from shore (35-60km offshore) which will reduce visual impacts and gain access to better wind speeds.

IberBlue Wind is a joint venture specialized in the design, development and management of floating offshore wind farms that will operate in the Iberian market. Made up of the Irish company Simply Blue Group, a leader in the early-stage development of floating offshore wind, Spanish companies Proes Consultores, the engineering division of the Grupo Amper, and FF New Energy Venture (FF NEV), developer of renewable projects.

Iberblue Wind will utilise innovative and cutting-edge floating offshore wind technologies to produce zero-carbon electricity through five of its floating wind projects. These projects aim to be a steppingstone for Spain and Portugal to progress towards a net-zero future, contributing to the Spanish government’s target of 1-3 GW of installed offshore wind by 2030 and to the Portuguese government’s target of 10 GW of installed offshore wind by 2030.

Creoula Floating Wind has a proposed 1.4 GW size, this project will located in front of the coast of Viana do Castelo (North Region) of Portugal. Creoula, jointly with its twin project, Juan Sebastián Elcano could constitute the first cross-border project, with an installed capacity of 1.9 GW.

The Juan Sebastian Elcano project has a proposed 522 MW project size, this floating wind project will be located on the coast of the Province of Pontevedra (Galicia) in Spain, in an area called NOR 1. Juan Sebastián Elcano, jointly with its twin project, Creoula could constitute the first cross-border project, with an installed capacity of 1.9 GW.

La Pinta Floating Wind has a proposed 990 MW project size, which will be located on the coast of Granada and Almeria (Andalusia), in Spain, in an area called ESAL2.

Botafogo Floating Wind has a proposed 990 MW project size and will be located near the coast of Figueira da Foz (Coimbra District) in Portugal

Nao Victoria Floating Wind has a proposed 990 MW project size, the Nao Victoria project will be located on the coast of Málaga and Cádiz, in Spain, in an area called ESAL 1.

The Salamander project will harness the offshore wind potential of the North Sea to help create a clean, sustainable future for everyone.

This project will utilise innovative and cutting-edge floating offshore wind technologies to produce zero-carbon electricity. The development aims to help Scotland and the UK as a whole to progress towards a net-zero future.

Salamander is a pre-commercial size project, up to 200MW capacity, located off Peterhead in the East coast of Scotland. Due to its privileged location, the project is currently exploring routes to market including oil and gas decarbonization and hydrogen production. The project is in an advanced planning stage and it is aiming to secure a Contracts for Difference (the government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation) in 2025.

The Salamander project is a stepping-stone project that is following the philosophy that Simply Blue Energy is using in the Celtic Sea and therefore has a strong focus on supply chain development. Salamander will provide an opportunity for the local supply chain to gear up for commercial scale opportunities in Scotland, as well as de-risking floating wind technologies for the future commercial projects. This will allow Scotland to maximise the financial benefit of its strong offshore wind resource and generate long term jobs for its local communities while contributing to the UK government’s target of 1GW of operational floating offshore wind by 2030.

Floating wind foundations are normally used in deep waters where fixed foundations are no longer economically feasible. Space for fixed foundations is scarce in many countries (including the UK) as development of fixed wind projects has been happening for the last 15 years. WindEurope estimates 80% of the wind resource in Europe is in waters beyond 60m deep. Therefore, it is clear that floating wind is going to play a very important role in the development of offshore wind pipelines in many countries including Scotland.

Scotland is a pioneer in floating offshore wind having deployed the first floating array in the world, the Hywind Scotland project. In addition to this project, Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm Phase 1 and Phase 2 have recently been deployed bringing the combined capacity of floating offshore wind in Scotland to 80MW. The recently launched ScotWind commercial leasing round is underway in Scotland by which Crown Estate Scotland will grant property rights for seabed in Scottish waters for approximately 10GW of new commercial scale offshore wind project development. It is expected that some of these projects will use floating wind foundations with most of these becoming operational post 2030 and on a scale of circa 1GW each.

Given previous projects have not yielded the expected supply chain benefits for Scotland, there is a need for pre-commercial stepping-stone projects to get ready for ScotWind. The Salamander project aims to bridge the development gap between the current operational floating wind projects and ScotWind projects.

The Olympic Offshore Wind project will form a gateway to commercial offshore wind farms in Northern Ireland. It will support a clean, sustainable future in the region and will also support a diverse route to market.

This project will utilise innovative and cutting-edge offshore wind technologies to produce zero-carbon electricity. The development aims to help Northern Ireland and UK to progress towards a net-zero future.

The project is in planning stage and will help Northern Ireland to achieve its’ ambition for offshore wind as outlined in the Offshore Renewable Energy Action Plan’

This project will provide an opportunity for the local supply chain to set up and prepare for commercial-scale opportunities offshore Northern Ireland. This will allow NI to maximise the financial benefit of its strong offshore wind resource and generate long-term jobs for its local communities while contributing to the UK’s emission reduction and floating offshore wind deployment targets.