floating offshore wind farm
Developments that could secure the UK’s future energy needs and create thousands of jobs have been welcomed by scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs at the University of Plymouth.
Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) in the Celtic Sea, which sits off the coasts of South West England and South Wales is set create up to 4.5GW of energy capacity by 2035, together with social, economic and environmental opportunities for the regions.
And the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed has outlined new details for companies bidding to develop some of the world’s biggest floating wind farms, including requirements, and anticipated timelines for the leasing process coming in 2024.
Perfectly situated in Britain’s Ocean City, the University of Plymouth has unrivalled technical capabilities and expertise in this area. It is home to the UK Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Test facility and other specialist laboratories that are making this green energy revolution possible, including the COAST Lab, Maritime Simulation Lab, and Cyber-SHIP Lab.
Professor Deborah Greaves OBE FREng, Director of the University’s Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy (C-DORE) and the national Supergen ORE Hub says:

This is excellent news for the sector and that we are keen to continue supporting our partners across industry developers and supply chain, regional and local government, academia and critical stakeholders, to engage with this exciting opportunity for the Celtic Sea. Though our collaborative working, research and skills development initiatives, and access to the University’s expertise and facilities we aim to help the development of floating offshore wind, to secure lasting sustainable benefits to society in the South West and Wales, and driving progress towards net zero and nature positive solutions for the UK.

Leading on innovation and skills

As well as leading the science behind FLOW and associated industries like maritime cyber-security and marine autonomy, the University of Plymouth is engaging with businesses and other key stakeholders to bring investment to the city and surrounding areas.
Its new Energy Innovation and Skills Generator, is a support programme that offers commercial consultation, access to unique facilities, and opportunities to collaborate on research and development, as well as training the workforce needed to make ORE happen at the scale and pace required.

The Celtic Sea development is a massive economic opportunity for Plymouth and the wider South West, alongside strengthening the UK’s leading global position in generating renewable energy from offshore wind. Our focus is on directly engaging with many of the companies we are already working with, as well as seeking new partners with whom we can apply our leading expertise and facilities for collaborative research and development projects. Together we will create innovative technological solutions for a cleaner, greener future.

Kevin ForshawKevin Forshaw
Director of Industrial and Strategic Partnerships

The forthcoming leasing round will be the first phase of commercial development in the Celtic Sea, and there is more to come. In its November 2023, autumn statement, the Government confirmed its intention to unlock space for a further 12GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea.
Celtic Sea floating offshore wind