The Crown Estate has announced the potential locations of floating offshore wind development in the Celtic Sea. TCE has identified five ‘areas of search’ off the coasts of Cornwall and Wales with the intention to lease refined areas within these via competitive tender in mid-2023.

The Crown Estate said in its press release that: ‘In a major step forward in supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions, The Crown Estate has today identified five broad ‘Areas of Search’ for the development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea – a region rich in natural resources, including world-class wind resource that can be developed with floating turbines. This marks a significant milestone and provides the foundation on which to build greater capacity in the future, helping the UK to achieve its renewable energy targets and drive economic development.

These areas have been identified following technical analysis and extensive engagement between The Crown Estate, the UK and Welsh governments and key agencies, and specialist stakeholders. Further stakeholder and market feedback will be used to refine the Areas of Search into smaller project development areas, within which the first generation of commercial-scale floating windfarms could be built. These project development areas will be offered to the market via competitive tender, to be launched in mid-2023.

It is intended that these areas will deliver 4GW of floating offshore wind power by 2035 – kick-starting industry in the region and providing power to almost four million homes.

In recognition of the UK’s ambitious net zero agenda and the need to develop competitive technology and supply chains, The Crown Estate will be tendering larger, 1GW-scale projects which may be developed in a phased or ‘stepping stone’ approach. This approach is deliberately intended to provide further opportunities for investment in the supply chain and to facilitate the co-ordination of supporting infrastructure. The Crown Estate is committed to work with and alongside other stakeholders to build a strong supply chain in the region and is exploring the options to help stimulate investment, with more information to be shared in the coming months.’

There has been extensive coverage in the Guardian, Independent, Wales Online, Business Green and Sky, amongst others.

The Crown Estate’s detailed mapping and methodology can be found here and the full press release from The Crown Estate can be read here.

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