Floating offshore wind project is granted offshore planning approval. Image: Floatation Energy, Image used for illustrative purpose only.
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560MW floating offshore wind project receives planning approval

Offshore wind developers Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn have announced that their floating offshore wind project, Green Volt, has been granted offshore planning approval.

As part of Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round, the project will deliver renewable electricity to oil and gas platforms, replacing existing natural gas and diesel power generation.

Humza Yousaf, first minister of Scotland, said: “It is great news that we have consented the first project in the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round – this is a significant milestone which will help secure Scotland’s place at the forefront of floating wind technology.”

When completed, Green Volt will include up to 35 floating wind turbines, producing up to 560MW of renewable energy capacity, which will provide electricity for the UK grid.

Yousaf continued: “We have a strong record in delivering robust consents, ensuring the right projects are built in the right place at the right time.

“Ahead of the Allocation Round 6 (AR6) application window closing, the relevant consents and marine licences were issued for two floating offshore wind projects as well as one wave and three tidal energy projects, allowing all of them to go forward.”

Green Volt is 50% owned by Flotation Energy and 50% by Vårgrønn, which is a joint venture between Plenitude (Eni) and HitecVision.

Olav Hetland, CEO at Vårgrønn, said: “With Green Volt being Europe’s first commercial-scale floating wind project, achieving offshore consent for the project marks an important moment for the whole offshore wind industry.

“At 560MW, Green Volt serves as an essential stepping stone from current small-scale projects to gigawatt-size developments, supporting the supply chain in scaling up new technology.”

Floating ideas

The potential of floating offshore wind production in the UK has been often discussed, considering the nation’s access to both windy weather and multiple offshore sites.

In February 2024, the Crown Estate released new research indicating that the floating offshore wind opportunity in the Celtic Sea could be worth up to £1.4 billion for the UK economy.

The independent study The Celtic Sea Blueprint, conducted by Lumen Energy and Environment, outlines that the supply chain and infrastructure opportunities arising from the development of new floating wind farms off the coast of South Wales and South West England could also generate up to 5,300 new jobs.

This could be highly beneficial, granting the local regions a skilled workforce for their growing renewable sector.

According to The Crown Estate, the first three floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea will be some of the largest in the world and can generate up to 4.5GW of Electricity.

Windy Scotland

Scotland has been identified specifically as a country within the UK which has the potential for a significantly high wind energy generation capacity.

This is clear from the 14-turbine wind farm being built in the Scottish Borders, set to be Britain’s biggest people-owned renewable energy project.

The site has the potential to power more than 50,000 homes and generate around 145GWh per year. It will be developed by BayWa r.e., which has delivered 144 wind projects worldwide and installed about 2.5GW of wind energy.

People across the country can co-own the wind farm via a co-operative, powering their homes with up to 100% green energy, cutting bills and reducing their carbon footprint.

The wind farm will begin generating towards the end of 2026. This is Ripple’s fourth project since the company’s launch seven years ago. In 2022, its turbine at Graig Fatha in Wales and an eight-turbine wind farm will be completed this month near Girvan, Scotland.

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