Simply Blue Energy, a pioneering Celtic Sea energy developer, and Total, one of the world’s largest energy companies, have established a partnership to develop floating wind projects in the Welsh waters of the Celtic Sea. The first development will be Erebus, a 96MW demonstration project at water depths of 70m, for which an application has already been submitted to the Crown Estate. The intention is that the project will be developed to use Principle Power’s Windfloat® technology, one of the most advanced floating technologies worldwide.

This new partnership between Total and Simply Blue Energy opens a new chapter in the development of renewable energy in the UK. Developing the potential of the Celtic Sea will make a positive contribution to the UK’s target of reaching Net-Zero by 2050, whilst offering exciting new opportunities for industry in areas such as Wales and Cornwall.  Simply Blue Energy has established an office in Pembroke Dock to work with the local supply chain on the opportunities created by this project. 

In a recent report, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult has advised that there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea in Irish and UK waters.  This is a significant amount of capacity given that the Committee on Climate Change suggests the UK will need at least 75GW of operating offshore wind capacity to reach the net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target by 2050.  It is estimated by the Catapult that the first GW in the Celtic Sea, could potentially deliver 3,000 jobs and £682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall over the next ten years.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman & CEO of Total said, “With its entry into floating offshore wind, Total confirms its ambition to contribute to the development of renewable energy worldwide. Floating offshore wind is an extremely promising and technical segment where Total brings its extensive expertise in offshore operations & maintenance. Total has the appropriate skills to meet the technological and financial requirements that determine the success of future floating offshore developments”.

Sam Roch-Perks, Managing Director of Simply Blue Energy said, “We are delighted to have signed the agreement with Total.  Together we will progress the first stepping-stone projects that will allow the local supply chain to build up their capabilities to help deliver the larger projects that will be developed for the 2030s.  It is like being in Aberdeen in the 1960s except from Pembroke Dock we look out onto a sea that can deliver wind energy, helping the UK reach its 2050 Net-Zero target”.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “With support from the UK Government the offshore wind sector has flourished, creating thousands of jobs in low-carbon industries and their supply chains. The development of a floating offshore wind project in Welsh waters would bring investment into the west of Wales and generate hundreds of high-quality jobs. Companies across the country involved in the development could play an integral role in accelerating the shift to clean growth and help us to reach our aim of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I’m very pleased to be able to welcome this announcement by Total and Simply Blue Energy – and am very happy to be able to welcome Total’s new investment to Wales, as they look to take part in this potentially far-reaching partnership within the floating offshore wind sector.

“The Erebus project represents not only a huge step towards our ambitious climate goals here in Wales, as we look to tackle the impact of climate change, but will also represent a huge low-carbon inward investment into Wales, as we move towards a stronger green economy and provide new supply chain opportunities to businesses within the Region. Projects such as these will form the backbone of a prosperous low carbon economy, and will be powered by Welsh ingenuity and innovation.”

“I’m also pleased to note that the Erebus project will see strong connections with the Pembroke Dock Marine (PDM) project – which will see £60m in investment brought to south-west Wales and help boost the capacities and capabilities of Welsh companies in the marine and green energy sectors.”

“This is just one strand in our strategy in the fight against climate change, but projects such as these – which make use of cutting-edge renewable energy technologies and help build our capacity in the move to an energy system with a high level of renewables – are very welcome, and I thank all those involved for their work in ensuring this partnership can start on its all-important work.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (CIOS LEP) said, “We are delighted that Simply Blue Energy, who’s UK office is in the CIOS LEP Enterprise Zone at Newquay, have reached this agreement with Total to work together to develop floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea. The LEP has, for 18 months now, been leading the initiative to secure floating offshore wind deployment in the region, and the commitment of a major multi-national such as Total provides clear evidence of both the reality of this new market and of the possibilities for both jobs and economic development”.

Notes

  1. The Celtic Sea describes the sea to the south of Wales to the north of Devon and Cornwall. It stretches as far west as Ireland and south to the coast of Brittany. (See map below).

  2. Simply Blue Energy was founded in 2011. The company develops energy and aquaculture projects around the coasts of the UK and Ireland. This is through capturing energy from floating wind or wave energy projects, or by developing sustainable salmon farms. It secures the best project opportunities in the UK and Irish waters and then brings together the right partners to make it happen. Simply Blue Energy employs 12 people and has offices in Cornwall, Pembroke, Edinburgh and County Cork. (simplyblueenergy.com).

  3. About Total – Total is a major energy player that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity. Total’s 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is safer, more affordable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, Total’s ambition is to become the responsible energy major.

  4. About Total in the United Kingdom – Total is present across the energy value chain in the UK. It has been present in the country for over 60 years and employs over 2,300 people.

  5. WindFloat® is a floating foundation for offshore wind turbines with a simple, economic and patented design. WindFloat® technology allows projects to be optimally sited in deeper water, accessing higher quality wind resources while addressing stakeholder and environmental concerns associated with near-shore developments.  Furthermore, WindFloat® relies on standard, proven, and minimally-invasive offshore mooring methodologies which mitigate environmental and ecological impact to the seabed. The WindFloat® reduces environmental risk and cost because of its relatively simple assembly and installation requirements, where all heavy lifting operations happen in a protected environment on dry land (at the port) using onshore cranes and common maritime transportation methods, such as tugboats, instead of expensive offshore installation vessels. The WindFloat® can also support the largest commercially available wind turbines in the world, which helps to increase power generation and drive significant reductions in lifecycle costs.

  6. Principle Power acts as a trusted partner to developers, independent power producers, utilities and EPCs, supporting its customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their projects. With 100 MW under construction and advanced development in Portugal, Scotland, and France, and a multi-GW commercial pipeline globally, Principle Power is the market leader in floating offshore wind technology.

  7. Simply Blue Energy has been advised in the transaction by Green Giraffe, the specialist renewable energy corporate finance firm from their London and Paris offices and legally by Fieldfisher in Dublin.

  8. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult produced the report for the Welsh Government and the Cornish and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Benefits of Floating Offshore Wind to Wales and the South West in January 2020.

  9. The Contract for Differences (CFD) Scheme is the government’s main mechanism for revenue support for new, low carbon electricity generation projects in the United Kingdom (UK). On 2nd March the government published a consultation into the next auction round due in April 2021 indicating strong support for floating wind.

  10. Pembroke Dock Marine is a £60M project that will create terrestrial and marine assets combined with research, development and innovation support to establish a world-class centre for marine engineering. Located on the Milford Haven Waterway on Wales’ energy-rich west coast, Pembroke Dock Marine’s immediate focus will be on delivering solutions for the low carbon energy industry, with opportunities for wider application across the blue economic sectors. It is being delivered by ORE Catapult, Marine Energy Wales, the Port of Milford Haven and Wave Hub Limited, and is due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal.

Contacts

For further information please contact Simply Blue Energy

Sam Roch-Perks, Managing Director;  sam@simplyblueenergy.com
+353 86 246 9345

Christoph Harwood.  Director of Policy & Strategy.  christoph.harwood@simplyblueenergy.com
+44 131 210 0103