Consultation opens for £160m fund to support floating windfarm projects off the coasts of Wales and Scotland
The UK Government has embarked on a consultation period for its flagship £160 million floating offshore wind fund.
Boris Johnson outlined plans to deliver up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 in his new energy security strategy published in April, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind, produced by turbines on floating platforms out in deeper seawaters, many off the Welsh and Scottish coasts.
The strategy also included proposals for more offshore and onshore wind farms and committed to building up to eight new nuclear power stations across the UK.
The offshore wind sector is still in the early stages of development but already has two operational projects generating power off the coast of Scotland at Hywind Scotland and Kincardine.
The new funding is intended to unlock further deepwater port infrastructure and support private investment in new factories to mass produce major components for floating offshore wind, with ambitions for projects off the coast of Wales.
15GW’s of floating offshore wind in Scottish waters has been announced through the ScotWind leasing round and a further 4GW is to be leased off the Welsh coast in the Celtic Sea which, combined, could require well over a thousand floating wind foundations.
The consultation period will allow the government to gather information from industry insiders which will be used to help the it understand the opportunities available and how it can most effectively support private investment in the sector.
Minister’s have also confirmed the appointment of a new Offshore Wind Champion to oversee the fund for projects which will mainly be located in the sea off Wales and Scotland.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the appointment of Tim Pick, who has more than 25 years’ experience of advising on the development of energy projects in the UK, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and beyond, including in the oil & gas and power generation industries, “represents another important step in our ambitious plans to accelerate offshore wind as a source of affordable, homegrown energy for the UK and drive down bills for households.”
The UK Government says Mr Pick will play a vital role in spearheading the work to accelerate new offshore wind projects around the UK.
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