UK

Wales gives green light to first floating wind farm

Backing has been given to the first floating wind farm off the Welsh coastline.

The Welsh government has given consent for the project, which will be located 40km off the Pembrokeshire coast in West Wales, to proceed.

Project Erebus is expected to provide enough low carbon energy to power 93,000 homes.

It will include seven 14-megawatt turbines, and is part of the first phase of a renewable energy development in the Celtic Sea which is set to generate four gigawatts of energy – enough to power four million homes and businesses.

The current expectation is that Blue Gem Wind, a joint venture between TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group, will begin operating the Erebus project in 2026 – but it now hopes to secure UK government funding.

Mark Drakeford, Wales’ First Minister, said: “The Erebus project has the potential to show the world that Wales and the Celtic Sea can deliver renewable energy alongside the sustainable management of our marine resources.

“In determining the marine license and the planning consents, the Welsh government and our partners in Natural Resources Wales have enabled this project to move forward to apply for subsidy support from the UK government.

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“I urge the UK government to do its part through the Contracts for Difference process to drive the industry forward by working with the Erebus team to secure the first floating offshore wind project in Welsh waters, bringing jobs and green energy to our communities.”

Sky News has asked the UK government for a response.

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Mike Scott, project managing director at Blue Gem Wind, said: “We welcome the decision from Welsh ministers to grant the necessary planning consents for project Erebus and have been working with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales and other key stakeholders since 2019 to develop a project that is sympathetic to the natural environment and minimises impacts to local communities and stakeholders.

“Erebus, which will be the first floating wind farm in Wales, will play a crucial role in advancing the deployment of what will become a globally important low carbon technology.”

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