My career has been spent delivering large-scale design and engineering projects, so I was delighted to join Floventis Energy to work alongside Project Director Olivier Marchand on the development of the Llŷr 1 and 2 floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea.
The projects have come forward through The Crown Estate’s Celtic Sea Test & Demonstration leasing opportunity, created to support the development and commercialisation of pioneering floating wind technologies. Each of the Llŷr projects will test a different floating platform technology to explore and demonstrate the nascent designs and installation approaches.
In July 2021, The Crown Estate confirmed their intention, subject to a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) to lease two floating offshore wind test and demonstration sites in the Celtic Sea to Floventis Energy. While we await the formal award of these lease areas by The Crown Estate, we are progressing with the development of the projects in line with the regulatory consent processes and expect to start formal consultation shortly. That’s an important milestone for the development of the projects.
Named after the Welsh God of the sea, the two Llŷr 100 megawatt (MW) projects are already playing an important role in helping to accelerate the development of the UK’s floating offshore wind industry. Situated approximately 31km from the Pembrokeshire coastline at water depths of 60-70 metres, the sites have wind speeds that are typically in excess of 10 metres per second – ideal for the generation of clean, renewable power.
Our mission is to deliver cost-efficient test wind farms that will enable the demonstration of two new floating wind technologies – testing the selected technologies and establishing a pathway to commercial exploitation. Each project is focused on demonstrating a different floating platform technology, providing two pathways to developing commercial-scale floating offshore wind. Indeed, we are currently working with our short-list of technology partners to determine how best to optimise the design of floating wind farms to reduce the costs of large-scale offshore wind developments within the UK.
Llŷr 1 & 2 will act as pathfinder project to aid the establishment and growth of indigenous floating offshore wind industrial capability in the Celtic Sea region, in preparation for the larger commercial opportunity for floating wind. The capabilities of the supply chain depend on the opportunities and investment into them in the 2020's and the setup of the offshore wind market. If lowest cost continues to be the only marker of success, or if the jump to GW projects is too fast, the supply chain may not grow or keep up.
It is therefore phased development and project awards, like the Llŷr projects, that will enable the local supply chain to develop. The Celtic Sea offers the opportunity for organic market growth beginning with steppingstone projects of the 100-200MW scale, growing to 1,000MW and beyond. This will support the local supply-chain to truly grow in parallel, targeting increased local content with the growing project sizes.
Meanwhile, we are focused on completing our Environmental Statement as part of the consenting process and continuing our consultation with stakeholders before announcing our final technology selection. We will then move to the detailed design stage and beyond that into construction, each an exciting step in the drive for critical change in the UK’s energy mix.
Deputy Project Director