Up to 5,300 new jobs and up to £1.4 billion could be generated for the UK economy via opportunities arising from the development of new floating wind farms off the coast of South Wales and the South West England, according to new research commissioned by The Crown Estate.

The independent study, The Celtic Sea Blueprint, conducted by Lumen Energy & Environment, looked at the minimum requirements needed to deliver the first three projects outlined by The Crown Estate in December. It also examined the gaps, such as ports deep enough for handling the giant turbines, vessels to service the sites, and export cables to transport electricity to land.

The first three floating windfarms, which will be able to generate up to 4.5GW of electricity – enough to power more than four million homes, will be some of the largest in the world. And, as the first in the UK outside of Scotland, mark a new phase for offshore wind in England and Wales.


Photo: Sander Weeteling


The research highlighted opportunities for the South West of England and Wales from the assembly of the large floating platforms needed to house the turbines, building on the existing local high-skilled welding and concrete expertise and existing local suppliers. It highlighted opportunities for local ports across the region from the assembly, transport and storage of parts during the construction and life-cycle of the sites, while the region’s strong shipping expertise could also be of benefit during the development stages. More generally, the first three windfarms alone will need:

  • More than 260 turbines spread across the three sites, each some 300 up metres tall, around the same height as The Shard, on a floating platform about the size of a football pitch
  • More than 1000 anchors to secure the floating turbines to the seabed, with at least 300km of mooring lines
  • Nearly 900km of cables (enough to stretch four times the length of Wales / nearly enough to stretch from Lands End to John O Groats) to link up turbines and connect them to the electricity network

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate said: “If the UK is to make the most of the economic and environmental opportunities from the transition to renewable energy, we must be on the front foot, acting now to develop the supply chain capability, skills and infrastructure needed to establish not just these windfarms but future floating windfarms in the Celtic Sea and elsewhere. Using this research, we want to work with the industry, trade organisations, local communities and across governments to make sure we are harnessing all the available opportunities and supporting the UK in continuing to accelerate its world-leading position in offshore wind.”

Contractual commitments to help drive positive social and environmental impacts

To make sure the environment is protected as net zero is delivered as well as creating more certainty and helping to de-risk the leasing, planning and consent stages, The Crown Estate has invested in extensive spatial planning and surveys to map the environmental and physical properties of the windfarm sites, conducted environmental assessments and begun work with the Electricity System Operator on connections to the UK’s energy grid up front in the process.

It is also introducing a series of contractual commitments for developers to help drive positive social and environmental impacts for the region focused on jobs, skills and training, environmental benefits and working with local communities.

The formal tender process for the floating wind farms starts at the end of February 2024.

For further information click here.

No Comment

Comments are closed.