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The Crown Estate announces investment in marine surveys to support floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea

The awarding of the first contracts marks an important step in what is anticipated to be a multi-million pound series of technical and environmental surveys around potential locations for new floating wind farms.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has set out ambitious plans to deliver an initial 4GW of energy capacity in the Celtic Sea by 2035, with the region assessed to have the potential to accommodate up to 24GW by 2045. This would be one of the first uses of new floating wind technology on a commercial scale, with further rapid growth expected as the technology, supply chain and infrastructure mature.

As well as providing successful bidders with easy access to vital data and speeding up the development process, it is hoped the programme will avoid the need for developers to conduct additional surveys later in the process, while making best use of limited specialist survey resource.

Nicola Clay, Head of New Ventures, said: “A successful floating wind market in the Celtic Sea will not only support the UK’s journey to net zero and strengthen our energy security, but can be the catalyst for new jobs, investment and supply chain opportunities. Ensuring these benefits are fully realised is a shared challenge, and The Crown Estate is committed to playing its part in supporting the growth of these important markets."

Over the last year, The Crown Estate has been working with its technical advisors, alongside industry and other stakeholders, including statutory nature conservation bodies, to develop a programme of surveys which will deliver strong, reliable and useful datasets for developers. Precise specifications will be kept under review as the programme progresses, but will cover a range of important areas, including the geophysical and geotechnical properties of the seabed, wind, wave and current patterns, and marine wildlife.

Tim Pick, Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Acceleration Taskforce, said: “The prospect of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea is taking shape, with The Crown Estate working with government and industry to progress the leasing process and stimulate a sustainable approach to the supply chain. I welcome the news of the awarding of contracts for surveys at an early stage, since it will accelerate the process and allow developers to take full advantage of the data that the surveys generate.”

The Crown Estate
Windfair Editors
The Crown Estate, Celtic Sea, marine survey, investment, region, floating offshore wind, region, Wales, England, Northern Ireland, process, development

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