Source Energie has been working for some time to identify medium and long term sites for development of floating offshore wind, and has now come together with ERM Dolphyn, a prominent innovator in green hydrogen production. Their plan is to use the opportunities provided in the Celtic Sea to develop floating wind sites that produce green hydrogen rather than electricity. This ambition has been prompted by the knowledge that The Crown Estate, which is responsible for issuing the permits for development projects in the seas around Britain, is currently carrying out a consultation process to identify suitable areas for offshore floating wind licences.
The first site under development is called ‘Dylan’. It has a target deployment date of 2027/2028 and is located approximately 60 km off the coast of west Wales. This site has been identified on the basis of a phased site selection process, which has included regional resource and constraints analysis, and a high-level shipping and navigation review. The two parties agree that the location is ideal, as it offers good energy generating conditions (>10m/s average wind speeds), strong expansion potential, and has a number of viable low impact pipeline routes to areas of existing and growing hydrogen demand.
Future expansion could provide more than 2 GW of power, which would provide enough hydrogen to make a material impact on local and national decarbonisation targets. The full-scale development would also bring several thousand jobs and training opportunities to the region.
Kevin Lynch, CEO of Source Energie, commented: “We are delighted that the Crown Estate plan to assign areas in the Celtic Sea for floating offshore wind energy and we are actively engaging in the consultation process.”
Steve Matthews, commercial director for ERM Dolphyn said: “Areas of deep water around the UK and Ireland provide great opportunities to generate green hydrogen at scale, and to deliver this carbon free fuel to areas of emerging demand, where it can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels. Following on from our projects in Scotland and the North Sea, Dylan is an important additional step, which will help decarbonise areas around the Celtic Sea region, including South Wales.”
The ERM Dolphyn opportunity in the Celtic Sea (Project Dylan) is supported by the Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative, while the support for hydrogen production at scale is embedded firmly within the policy framework of Net Zero Wales and the Welsh government’s second carbon budget (2021-2025).