Floating offshore wind (FLOW) is one of the world’s fast-growing renewable energy sectors, with a potential market that could be four times the size of conventional offshore wind.
In the British Energy Security Strategy, HMG has committed the UK to reaching 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, of which up to 5GW could be FLOW. With Scotland the only other location for large FLOW project development, 2.5GW of the 5GW target could be in the Celtic Sea.
This week marks the start of a period of intense activity for developers, and for regional stakeholders, and another key milestone in the long journey to develop offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.
The Crown Estate’s leasing strategy for the Celtic Sea, including the identification of five ‘Areas of Search’ and an approach to phased development. This marks the start of the Celtic Sea leasing process and the unlocking of GWs of floating offshore wind on the West coast of the UK.
This means that floating wind developers will now be able to formally scope projects and enter into a leasing process that should culminate in the award of 4 GW of projects leases in late 2023.
Despite the competition, developers will have to work together, with the UK and Welsh governments, The Crown Estate, National Grid and regional stakeholders to ensure that project delivery is a success. That will require significant investment in grid infrastructure, port facilities and regional supply chain capability.
We expect National Grid ESO to publish its first pass of a Holistic Network Design (HND) for offshore and onshore grid infrastructure maybe as early as next week.
Also this week a significant moment for Hexicon. Winning the UK’s first ever CfD auction for floating offshore wind marks an important milestone on the journey floating offshore wind and for the Hexicon TwinHub project. Floating offshore wind is now really moving towards commercialisation for the entire floating wind industry.
Hexicon are using the old wave hub facility at Hayle, the MOR Group looks forward to continuing to support this ground-breaking development.
To cap it all we had a great end to the week as A&P hosted the Celtic Sea All-Party Parliamentary Group visit to Falmouth on Friday.
With key members of the Celtic Sea, floating offshore wind sector attended a networking lunch at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall before receiving presentations from a number of the attendees. Those in attendance were; Cherily Mackrory MP and Selaine Saxby MP, James Brown from Hexicon TwinHub, Kerry Hayes from Simply Blue Group/Blue Gem Wind, Matt Hodson from Celtic Sea Power and Drystan Jones, Director Port Development and General Manager FDEC from A&P Falmouth.
The MOR Groups vision is simple – to help make Mounts Bay and the surrounding area a prime hub for the floating offshore wind sector – offering fabrication, construction, maintenance, port and marine services to developers and service companies.
The MOR Group is a part of the Cornwall Marine Network group of businesses, read more about our network here