Consent granted for Wales’ first floating windfarm
The Welsh Government has granted consent for Wales’ first floating windfarm located 40km off the coast of Pembrokeshire.
Project Erebus will house seven next-generation 14 megawatt turbines on floating platforms, providing enough energy to power 93,000 homes.
Erebus is part of the first phase of a four-gigawatt renewable energy development in the Celtic Sea, which could produce enough power for 4m homes.
Future phases of the development could generate an additional 20 gigawatts of renewable energy.
Blue Gem Wind, the joint venture between TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group is currently on target to begin operating the 100MW Erebus project in 2026.
First Minister 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.”
Welcoming the announcement, Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee chair, Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, said:”It’s looking more likely than ever before that Wales could be a first mover in floating offshore wind.
“It is very welcome news that Pembrokeshire could be home to Wales’ first floating offshore wind farm.
“As mentioned only last week in our Committee’s report on floating offshore wind, the potential is enormous if we manage to harness the energy potential further out at sea.
“It could be transformative to the local economy and supply chains, supporting many jobs and livelihoods to a predominantly rural area.
“Floating offshore wind could be the greatest investment opportunity in Wales for decades. For this to be realised, we must ensure that local supply chains benefit from the boost in business, rather than manufacturing simply being offshored to international competitors as we saw with a lot of fixed bottom offshore wind.
“I hope the UK Government now backs this project so it can proceed and power tens of thousands of homes.”
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