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200811 | Floating windfarms off Cornwall's coastline could be a step closer

Floating windfarms off Cornwall's coastline could be a step closer

Floating windfarms off Cornwall's coastline could be a step closer

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Helen Down at 10:00am 16th August 2020.

Plans to build floating windfarms off the Cornish coast, to generate clean power and create thousands of green jobs, have taken a major step forward.

The plans for the Celtic Sea have been shortlisted by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The South West Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator has been chosen to prepare a bid for over £30 million worth of government funding.

The project was shortlisted by UK Research and Innovation which is providing £50,000 to support development of bid following a successful first stage application.

It aims to fast-track the building of large scale floating offshore windfarms in the Celtic Sea.

This is an area off the coast of Cornwall and West Wales and south of Ireland, which reportedly has one of the best wind resources in Europe.


The South West Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator is being led by Wave Hub, a Cornwall Council-owned marine renewables research and technology organisation with the following organisations:

  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of Exeter
  • The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult
  • A&P Group
  • Cornwall Council
  • Plymouth City Council.

“We’re delighted that UKRI has recognised the strength of our bid and that we can progress to the next round.

"The Great South West has the potential to make a decisive contribution to the UK’s offshore wind energy targets by developing a new floating wind industry that can create thousands of jobs with huge export potential.”

Steve Jermy, Executive Chair of Wave Hub, which is based in Hayle

“This project is about global innovation in a high value industry and is a cornerstone of our Local Industrial Strategy.

"It is an opportunity to lead a post-pandemic green recovery and make a huge contribution to the UK’s economy and the fight against climate change.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP

Hywind wind farm illustration

A report published by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult earlier this year commissioned by Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (LEP) said a floating wind industry in the Celtic Sea could support 3,200 jobs in the South West and Wales.

This also said it would pump £682m of spend in the local supply chain by 2030, powering hundreds of thousands of homes.

Nationally it's also said the industry could support 17,000 jobs and generate £33.6 billion of economic activity, with huge export potential.

Awards will be announced next year.

“The South West is perfectly placed to advance the development of offshore renewable energy on behalf of the whole country – something that has been acknowledged by UKRI through this funding award. And the University, with its pedigree for research, development and innovation in the renewables sector, is excited to be at the heart of the floating wind project as we now look to work up a full bid.”

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the University of Plymouth’s School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, and Director of the Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub

“A&P Group welcomes this funding, which furthers the objectives of the South West Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator. A&P’s ambition is simple – to help make Falmouth and the wider South West economy a prime hub for the offshore wind sector.

"A&P will play its part to ensure the South West has the skills, facilities and capabilities to deliver the construction of floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea.”

Drystan Jones, Port Operations Director, Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company, part of the A&P Group