Norwegian energy giant Equinor has revealed its intention to develop “gigawatt-scale” floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.
The company expressed its interest ahead of the Crown Estate floating wind seabed leasing round in the Celtic Sea planned in 2023. The leasing round aims to facilitate the development of the floating offshore wind industry in the UK and encourage investments in the UK supply chain.
Equinor is already the developer and soon to be operator of two of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms,
“Equinor has been operating in the UK for nearly 40 years and we are delighted to see new and exciting opportunities emerging in the Celtic Sea,” said Catherine Maloney, Head of Business Development, UK Offshore Wind.
Equinor has already conducted a comprehensive site selection process in the Celtic Sea and is maturing its plans through aerial surveys. In the Celtic Sea region, Equinor said it intends to work with all stakeholders to develop floating offshore wind projects that create shared value for local communities, and initiate opportunities for the regional supply chain to advance as a competitive hub for floating offshore wind.
The company’s 30 MW Hywind Scotland floating wind farm, which has been operating for five years, has achieved a UK-leading capacity factor of 54% across its lifespan. Equinor is also currently constructing the 88 MW Hywind Tampen project in Norway, which will be the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world when completed in 2023.
“Our team is working hard to mature our plans in Wales and South West England, as engagement with local communities is critical to Equinor’s project development of offshore wind. Equinor is highly experienced at developing floating wind: we have installed the world’s first floating wind turbine, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm and are now building the world’s largest floating wind farm,” adds Maloney. “We are committed to industrializing floating offshore wind and the Celtic Sea is an optimal region for further development of this important technology.”
Equinor will also be participating in RenewableUK Cymru’s Future Energy Wales event on 9-10 November in Newport, Wales and welcomes engagement with companies interested in supporting Equinor’s potential delivery of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.
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