The biggest floating wind farm in the world is currently the 50MW Kincardine offshore wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland, but the new facility will be 20 times as large, generating 1GW of power.
The project, called “Gwynt Glas”, which means “blue wind” in Welsh, is a joint venture involving EDF, which is owned by the French state, and DP Energy, a renewable energy company based in Ireland, and the firms said it will provide power for approximately 927,400 homes.
An exact site is yet to be confirmed, but EDF said “an area of interest encompassing some 1,500km2 has been identified, approximately 70km (43 miles) from the shore, with initial remote aerial surveys for marine mammal and birds taking place since Spring 2021”.
The distance means the array would not be visible from the shore. At sea level, a six-foot tall person can see around 5km (3 miles) to the horizon.
EDF Renewables UK head of offshore wind, Scott Sutherland, said: “We firmly believe Gwynt Glas will be a catalyst for further supply chain growth across the UK which is something we as a company are very supportive of.
“We will use our experience in offshore wind to help bring opportunities for local, regional and national companies on this project and on others, such as our Blyth floating project and the two we are bidding for in the ScotWind process.”
He added: “Floating offshore wind is an exciting new technology and will bring much needed inward investment which can regenerate coastal economies and communities.”
Simon De Pietro, chief executive of DP Energy said: “With EDF Renewables UK we have found a strong ally to develop Gwynt Glas, who place strong emphasis on capturing the regional supply chain and local community opportunity, alongside protecting our environment.
“Each member of the DP Energy UK team based in Pembroke Dock was born and raised in Wales and are passionate about supporting the growth of a new energy sector that can sustain skilled, well-paid jobs for future generations in coastal regions, in Wales and in the South West of England.”