Welsh Ministers have granted a Section 36 consent with deemed planning permission to Blue Gem Wind to build and operate the Erebus project. The news follows the recent decision by Natural Resources Wales to provide the joint venture between TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group a marine licence.
Erebus, Wales’ first planned floating windfarm is located approx 40KM off the Pembrokeshire coastline and will house next generation turbines on floating platforms, providing new low carbon energy and contributing to net zero targets and energy security.
First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, said: “We are ambitious for the floating offshore wind sector in Wales – we believe it has the potential to deliver sustainable sources of energy into the future and it is also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to open up new markets for local suppliers and to create thousands of high-quality jobs in Wales.
“The Erebus project has the potential to show the world that Wales and the Celtic Sea can deliver renewable energy alongside the sustainable management of our marine resources.“In determining the marine license and the planning consents, the Welsh Government and our partners in Natural Resources Wales have enabled this project to move forward to apply for subsidy support from the UK Government.
“I urge the UK Government to do its part through the Contracts for Difference process to drive the industry forward by working with the Erebus team to secure the first floating offshore wind project in Welsh waters, bringing jobs and green energy to our communities.”
Mike Scott, Project Managing Director at Blue Gem Wind, added, “We welcome the decision from Welsh Ministers to grant the necessary planning consents for project Erebus and have been working with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales and other key stakeholders since 2019 to develop a project that is sympathetic to the natural environment and minimises impacts to local communities and stakeholders. Erebus, which will be the first floating wind farm in Wales, will play a crucial role in advancing the deployment of what will become a globally important low carbon technology.”
Erebus, named after the famous ship built in 1826 in Pembroke Dock is due to be commissioned in 2026 and marks the start of Blue Gem Wind’s stepping stone approach to floating wind development in the Celtic Sea.
The Celtic Sea and floating wind is poised to play a key role in net zero, the Climate Change Committee 100GW+ offshore wind target, and help deliver the UK Energy Security Strategy.