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Equinor looks to Celtic Sea for new floating offshore wind opportunities

Equinor today announces its interest in developing gigawatt scale floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, with the upcoming Celtic Sea floating wind seabed leasing round in view.

A pioneer in floating offshore wind, as the developer and soon to be operator of two of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms, Equinor views new floating opportunities in the Celtic Sea with great interest. The Crown Estate is planning a seabed leasing round in the Celtic Sea in 2023.

Project development areas are being prepared by The Crown Estate for development of gigawatt scale floating offshore wind projects. The Celtic Sea seabed leasing round aims to facilitate the development of the floating offshore wind industry in the UK and encourage investments in the UK supply chain.

Catherine Maloney, Head of Business Development, UK Offshore Wind at Equinor, said:

“Equinor has been operating in the UK for nearly 40 years and we are delighted to see new and exciting opportunities emerging in the Celtic Sea. Our team is working hard to mature our plans in Wales and South West England, as engagement with local communities is critical to Equinor’s project development of offshore wind. Equinor is highly experienced at developing floating wind: we have installed the world’s first floating wind turbine, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm and are now building the world’s largest floating wind farm. We are committed to industrialising floating offshore wind and the Celtic Sea is an optimal region for further development of this important technology.”

Central to the Celtic Sea seabed leasing round is a focus on environmental and social value creation, respect for the marine environment, engagement with local communities and stakeholders, and development of a competitive floating offshore wind supply chain.

Equinor has conducted a comprehensive site selection process in the Celtic Sea and is maturing its site selection through aerial surveys. In the Celtic Sea region, Equinor intends to work with all stakeholders to develop floating offshore wind projects that create shared value for local communities, and initiate opportunities for the regional supply chain to advance as a competitive hub for floating offshore wind.

The company’s 30 MW Hywind Scotland floating wind farm has provided power for five years, achieving a UK-leading capacity factor of 54% across its lifespan. Equinor is also currently constructing the 88 MW Hywind Tampen project in Norway, which will be the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world when completed in 2023.

Equinor will be participating in RenewableUK Cymru’s Future Energy Wales event on 9-10 November in Newport, Wales and welcomes engagement with companies interested in supporting Equinor’s potential delivery of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.