Welsh firm bids to develop a wealth fund for Wales from Celtic Sea wind profits
A Welsh renewable energy project bidding to place floating offshore wind turbines in the Celtic Sea is proposing to invest a share of the profits in a wealth fund for Wales.
The floating offshore wind project is a joint venture between Hiraeth Energy, based in Pembrokeshire, and Norwegian energy specialist.
This collaboration will see the development of floating wind projects off the Pembrokeshire coast, with the initial project, Môr Glas, being at around 1GW in scale.
The plans would see a share of the total profits put into a wealth fund that would support further innovation in the energy sector in Wales.
Magnora Offshore Wind has recently been successful in its bid for a licence in the Scotwind leasing round and is now developing the 495MW floating offshore wind project ‘Talisk’ in Scotland.
The firm will make its Celtic Sea bid on Monday and says it would support communities in Wales in the coming transition to low carbon energy.
The project will also aim for as much Welsh ownership as possible to allow institutions, including public and private bodies in Wales, along with Welsh pension investors, to have a stake in projects within Welsh waters.
Joseph Kidd, Hiraeth Energy Partner said: “Our projects have been set up to deliver the bold vision of Hiraeth Energy and Magnora Offshore Wind; we want to see as much as possible of the wealth generated from Wales to stay
“We think that Welsh households, organisations and pension funds should have the chance to invest in homegrown projects, generating revenues with assets that are owned by our own institutions.”
The development of the wealth fund by the company is inspired by the fossil fuel funds of Norway and other oil-rich countries, but will use returns from offshore renewables instead.
Norway has developed a £1tn fund from oil and gas revenues and the Norwegian fund generates a return of nearly 6% annually for the people of Norway.
Trond Gartner, Magnora Offshore Wind Business Development Manager said: “The new round of floating offshore wind projects that will be developed in the Celtic Sea provides a once in a generation opportunity for people in Wales to benefit directly from the renewable energy resources off the Welsh coast.”
Sonya Bedford, Hiraeth Energy Partner added: “Our ambition is to create a fund for Wales that can help build energy resilience and prosperity in Welsh communities, and help us contribute to the challenge of achieving Net Zero by 2050.
“This will build a legacy for future generations; a fund that can be contributed to by all offshore projects, whoever owns them, and whatever part of the Welsh coast they occupy.”
The UK government has set a target of 50GW of installed offshore wind energy by 2030, with the Celtic Sea area able to contribute at least 4GW of floating wind capacity before 2035.
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