The Celtic Sea Opportunity
Spanning the area off the coast of Cornwall, between Wales and Ireland, the Celtic Sea region is incredibly windy, but until now the deep sea ruled out developing large-scale windfarms.
Did you know?
The current generation of fixed offshore wind farms are limited to to water depths of up to 60m deep. The Celtic Sea, like 80% of the world’s offshore wind resources, is much deeper than that.
How new technology has changed everything:
Anatomy of a floating wind turbine
A floating wind turbine is a turbine mounted on a floating structure. This is a much more flexible solution than a fixed structure as its location is not limited by seabed depth or conditions.
Anchors tethering turbines to the seabed on floating platforms allow us to venture into deeper waters like the Celtic Sea.
Bigger is better!
Floating offshore wind farms are designed to be taller than traditional fixed windfarms. This is more cost-effective and allows them to take advantage of the strongest winds at higher altitudes.
The largest turbine in production stands at 265m – twice the height of the London Eye!
The gigantic floating platforms can be up to 100m across, the size of ocean going vessels, built to withstand the harsh offshore conditions.
Why is Floating Offshore Wind (FlOW) so important?
Renewable energy from offshore wind is our best hope for reducing CO2 emissions and getting to Net Zero. It also has the power to transform our regional economy, energy security and future prosperity, offering a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Wales.
The Celtic sea can deliver 24GW
That’s half of the UK governments 50 by 50 target!
What does 24GW look like?
- More than 1,000 turbines!
- 1 rotation of a 15MW turbine will power an average home for 2 days!
- 10 new turbines a month being built for the next 20 years.
- Creating thousands of jobs to support the industry
Stepping Stone Approach
With only two decades to reach our net zero targets, the role out of Floating Offshore Wind needs to be rapid, but must always:
Minimise environmental impact and maximise local benefit
To that end, The Crown Estate, who own the seabed, has introduced a stepping stone approach to leasing areas of the Celtic Sea for Floating Offshore Wind Development.
There are three stages to this:
Test & Demonstration
4 separate 100MW scale projects delivered by Blue Gem Wind, Floventis and Flotation Energy.
4 separate 1GW scale developments planned by 2035.
The Celtic Sea will be critical – providing half of the UK Government’s 50 by 50 target.
Just 4GW alone would:
Require up to 267 floating turbines.
Power 3 million homes.
Provide 3,200 skilled, fulfilling jobs across Wales and the South West.
Generate £682 million of spend in the local supply chain by 2030.
The scale of ambition for the early phase is enormous
Picture a fleet of 267 floating platforms, each the size of ocean-going vessel, mounted with turbines almost as tall as The Shard in London!
The development will bring a whole new industry to the Celtic Sea region, with significant opportunities for growth and jobs. Marine energy Wales is working closely with our network of partners to maximise the benefits for Wales.