The Prime Minister allocated £160million to kick-start the futuristic projects in deep waters off the coasts of Scotland and Wales – but there are doubts if the funding is enough
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Vast floating wind turbines 15 miles off Britain’s coastline could power thousands of homes under a green pledge by Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister has allocated £160million to kick-start the futuristic projects in deep waters off the coasts of Scotland and Wales.
Firms will bid for the cash – part of a £1.4bn fund already announced in the Budget – to set up offshore wind ports, where floating turbines can be assembled.
Supporters of the technology say it harnesses stronger, more reliable winds further away from land.
But there will be doubts over whether the funding is enough.
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The UK’s first floating wind farm alone, which has five turbines, cost more than the entire funding pot allocated today.
Energy firm Equinor spent 2billion Norwegian Kroner – equivalent to around £174m – on the Hywind Scotland plant 15 miles off the coast of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, in 2017.
Its 830ft high floating turbines each weighs 12,000 tonnes and has a rotor diameter of 500ft – equivalent to three Nelson’s Columns stacked end to end.
Almost a third of the height of each structure sits below the water line, tethered to the sea bed by three mooring lines. It can power around 36,000 households.
Mr Johnson is aiming to deliver 1GW of energy through floating offshore wind by 2030 – nine times more than current production across the world.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the project “will create and support thousands of good quality jobs”.
He added: “Floating offshore wind is key to unlocking the spectacular wind energy resource we enjoy in the UK, particularly in the deep waters around the coasts of Scotland and Wales.
“This new investment will put us in a leading position to capture the full economic benefit of this fast growing industry.”