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Crown Estate unveils plans for 4.5 GW Celtic Sea floater

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 02/10/2023 The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate has released new details about its ambitious plans for Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5, aimed at establishing cutting-edge floating offshore wind technology in the Celtic Sea. This development is set to bring a massive 4.5GW of clean, renewable energy to the coast of Wales and South West England through three project sites.

The updated plan includes specifics on the project locations and a significant investment in marine surveys. Round 5 is anticipated to be the inaugural phase of Celtic Sea development, as The Crown Estate strives to fast-track the UK's energy transition while reducing development risks.

Following extensive consultations with developers and stakeholders, The Crown Estate has made some crucial revisions to the initial proposals. They have confirmed the creation of three Project Development Areas (PDAs), each with a potential capacity of up to 1.5GW. This adjustment increases the overall capacity available through Round 5 from 4GW to a remarkable 4.5GW, enough to power over 4 million homes.

An Information Memorandum is expected to be published by the end of the year, marking the official launch of the leasing round. The Crown Estate has also refined the design to optimize the seabed, providing developers with more developable space in each of the three areas, enhancing flexibility and project feasibility.

This endeavor lays the foundation for a thriving floating wind industry in the Celtic Sea, which will not only bolster the UK's shift away from fossil fuels and energy security but also contribute to broader social and economic value. Developers will be required to make commitments to ports, address environmental concerns, and deliver community benefits as part of the leasing process.

In addition to project details, The Crown Estate has unveiled a multi-million-pound marine survey program to provide developers with essential data to inform their decisions and reduce project risks. Aerial surveys began on September 24th, focusing on sea birds and marine mammals in the Celtic Sea. Leading aerial surveyors HiDef have been awarded a two-year contract for this crucial work, with comprehensive technical specifications set to be published later this month.

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director Marine at The Crown Estate, emphasized the project's significance, stating, "Round 5 is set to be one of the biggest projects of its kind in the world, and will be a game changer for the UK’s energy security and net zero ambitions." He further emphasized the importance of collaboration with stakeholders to fully realize the potential of floating wind in the Celtic Sea, benefiting communities and businesses across the region.

For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.


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