The Anonymous Widower

The Crown Estate Announces Areas Of Search To Support Growth Of Floating Wind In The Celtic Sea

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Crown Estate.

This is the first paragraph.

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.

Points in the press release include.

  • Five areas with good wind power potential have been chosen.
  • A competitive tender, is to be launched in mid-2023.
  • It is intended that these areas will deliver 4GW of floating offshore wind power by 2035.

This map shows the areas.

I have a few thoughts.

What About The Other Wind Farms Already Announced In the Celtic Sea?

In DP Energy And Offshore Wind Farms In Ireland, I said this.

They are also developing the Gwynt Glas offshore wind farm in the UK sector of the Celtic Sea.

  • In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and
    expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.
  • The wind farm is located between Pembroke and Cornwall.

The addition of Gwynt Glas will increase the total of floating offshore wind in the UK section of the Celtic Sea.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Llŷr Wind – 100 MW Project – 25 miles offshore
  • Gwynt Glas – 1000 MW Project – 50 miles offshore

This makes a total of 2.2 GW, with investors from several countries.

It does seem that the Celtic Sea is becoming the next area of offshore wind around the British Isles to be developed.

So what about these seven wind farms?

Erebus and Valorus

Is Blue Gem’s philosophy to develop and prove the technology and put in big bid for around a GW?

Gwynt Glas

The Gwynt Glas web site says this.

The Crown Estate announced in March 2021 that it intends to run a competitive leasing round to award seabed rights to developers for floating offshore wind (FLOW) projects in the Celtic Sea, targeting an overall regional capacity of 4GW.

In January 2022, EDF Renewables and DP Energy announced a Joint Venture partnership to combine their knowledge and expertise, in order to participate in the leasing round to secure seabed rights to develop up to 1GW of FLOW in the Celtic Sea.

The partnership project is called Gwynt Glas, Welsh for Blue Wind, in recognition of its Celtic roots.

Our proposed floating offshore wind project could provide power for approximately 920,000 homes.

It looks like they’re throwing their hat into the ring for 1 GW.

Llŷr Wind

The Llŷr Wind web site says this.

Combined, the two 100MW projects will generate enough renewable electricity to power around 250,000 homes. If successful, we will be able to offer highly cost-effective, floating offshore wind farms to the rest of the world by 2030.

By unlocking new, higher energy capacities from deeper waters, further offshore, the Llŷr projects have huge implications for UK energy consumers. Not only will they help the UK meet its target for net zero emissions, but they will create new opportunities for regional manufacturing and supply chains in Wales and Southwest England as global demand for floating, offshore, wind rises.

It looks to me that this project hasn’t been fully defined yet. Perhaps, this will happen after a successful bid.

Llywelyn

The Llywelyn web site says this.

Llywelyn wind farm is located in Welsh waters in the Celtic Sea, 40 miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire.
Llywelyn’s location has been selected following an extensive feasibility study and rigorous site assessment process. Our assessment has included reviews of protected areas, environmental impacts, cable routing, existing infrastructure, marine traffic, and fishing activity.

We have signed an agreement with National Grid, securing a 300MW grid connection in Pembrokeshire. The system operator is exploring upgrades to the existing site to facilitate the connection. These developments will enable the Llywelyn offshore wind project to quickly enter the planning system.

Have they already said go?

Petroc

The Petroc web site says this.

Petroc’s location has been selected following an extensive feasibility study and rigorous site assessment process. Our assessment has included reviews of protected areas, environmental impacts, cable routing, existing infrastructure, marine traffic, and fishing activity.

We have signed an agreement with National Grid, securing a 300MW grid connection in North Devon. The system operator is exploring upgrades to the existing site to facilitate the connection. These developments will enable the Petroc offshore wind project to quickly enter the planning system.

Have they already said go?

These companies are certainly setting themselves up for bidding or have already got a smaller deal.

How Much Wind Power Can Be Developed In The Celtic Sea?

This article on the Engineer is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea.

The article starts with these two paragraphs.

Over the last decade, the UK has become a global leader in renewable marine energy, tapping into the vast resources its coastal geography offers. Offshore wind, in particular, has flourished, with gigawatt-scale projects being deployed off the east coast of England and Scotland, at Hornsea, Dogger Bank and Moray.

However, looking at a map of existing and proposed wind farms, what’s perhaps most striking is the complete absence of projects in the southwest of Britain, off the rugged shores of Wales, Devon and Cornwall, shaped by the fierce North Atlantic. The Celtic Sea – which extends south off Wales and Ireland down past Cornwall and Brittany to the edge of the continental shelf – is estimated to have around 50GW of wind generating capacity alone. What’s more, it also delivers some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, alongside some of the best waters in Europe for generating wave energy. In a country blessed with renewable resources, the Celtic Sea may well be its biggest prize.

I’ll go along with what this article says and accept that 50 GW of wind capacity could be installed in the Celtic Sea.

As I write this article at around nine o’clock, the UK is generating almost exactly 30 GW of electricity, which gives an idea of how large electricity production in the Celtic Sea could be.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how this first round of leasing in the Celtic Sea develops.

 

 

July 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two More Floating Wind Projects In The Celtic Sea

In Two Celtic Sea Floating Wind Projects Could Be Delivered By 2028, I said this.

There now appears to be four floating wind farms under development in the Celtic Sea between the South-West corner of Wales and the Devon and Cornwall Peninsular.

  • Blue Gem Wind – Erebus – 100 MW Demonstration project  – 27 miles offshore
  • Blue Gem Wind – Valorus – 300 MW Early-Commercial project – 31 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy – Petroc – 300 MW project – 37 miles offshore
  • Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy Llywelyn – 300 MW project – 40 miles offshore

But they do create a starter for a GW.

Last night, I found two other projects being developed in the Celtic Sea, under the collective name of the Llŷr Project.

The sponsoring company, which appears to be called Llŷr Wind has a web site, with a title of Harnessing Welsh Energy, which has this outline description underneath.

Situated off the Pembrokeshire coast, in southwest Wales, is a flagship project that could transform the world’s ability to generate renewable electricity from wind. The Llŷr projects are exploring the potential of two innovative floating offshore wind technologies.

The next statement is key.

Combined, the two 100MW projects will generate enough renewable electricity to power around 250,000 homes. If successful, we will be able to offer highly cost-effective, floating offshore wind farms to the rest of the world by 2030.

The Llŷr Project would appear to be a research project to find the best way to generate electricity using floating wind turbines in deep water.

  • It appears that the two wind farms will use different floats for the turbines.
  • The Llŷr projects are located in the approaches to the Bristol Channel in the Celtic Sea approximately 40 kilometres offshore at depths averaging 60-70 metres.
  • These offshore sites enjoy high average windspeeds which are, typically, in excess of 10 metres per second. That is over twenty miles per hour.
  • Each 100MW project will comprise 6 to 8 next-generation turbines which are too large to be deployed on land.
  • 6 x 20 MW turbines will be 120 MW.
  • 8 x 12 MW turbines will be 96 MW.
  • Each project will have an offshore substation.
  • There will be up to two connections for each substation.
  • Will the Llŷr Projects test manufacturers’ new turbine designs?
  • It is hoped that installation of the turbines will start in 2025/26, with power being delivered in 2026/7.
  • The project is being developed by Floventis Energy, which is a joint venture of SBM Offshore and Cierco.

It does look to me that SBM Offshore, who are a Dutch company, are using their extensive oil and gas experience to develop floating offshore wind.

This appears to be a very well-thought out research project in a location, where there is everything needed.

  • Lots of wind, which can be boosted by dragons if needed.
  • Deep water.
  • Ports for assembly of turbines onto floats.
  • Steelworks and fabrication.
  • Good electrical connections to the National Grid.
  • Excellent universities.
  • Good transport connections.
  • An experienced engineering workforce.

There is also the ultimate potential of 50 GW of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

Conclusion

The Llŷr Project could have a very positive input into the worldwide development of floating offshore wind.

I have read the web sites of Floventis, SBM Offshore and Cierco and these companies appear to be aiming to dominate the floating offshore wind industry.

Their strategy is stated on the Floventis web site.

Our strategy is simple. We plan to maximize the local benefits of our projects and minimize their impact. Our technologies are far more benign than conventional offshore wind and more suited for deployment in remote and sensitive environments.

Already driving demonstration projects in California and the UK, Floventis is building a portfolio of projects to take floating offshore wind, through a stepwise process – increasing project size, to full scale commercial development proposals by 2030.

We believe that the floating offshore wind industry is a model for a “just transition” to clean energy, at scale, which will reward communities, in the broadest sense, with skilled jobs and enhanced social equity.

I can certainly live with that! And I’m certain the world can too!

 

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , | 1 Comment