By Bruce Sinclair
RURAL campaign group CPRW has welcomed the recent consent for Wales’ first floating wind-farm, located just over 40km off the coast of Pembrokeshire.
The Welsh Government recently granted consent for Project Erebus, which will house seven next-generation 14 megawatt turbines on floating platforms, providing enough low carbon energy to power 93,000 homes.
Erebus is part of the first phase of a four-gigawatt renewable energy development in the Celtic Sea, enough power for 4m homes.
Future phases of the development could realise an additional 20 gigawatts of renewable energy, which will transform the way we power our homes and businesses.
Chair of Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales Pembrokeshire Branch, Mary Sinclair, has applauded the recent consent for the 100MW project Erebus.
She describes it as “a breakthrough for future renewable windpower generation on a vast scale to help combat climate change”.
Mrs Sinclair argues that this should reduce the need for huge land-based wind farms, and with power distributed by sub-sea cables, would also remove the need for industrialised pylon lines “striding across the countryside”.
“CPRW has always had a policy to support offshore wind,” said Mrs Sinclair, “but until now this technology has been slow to advance because it was easier and cheaper to develop rural sites”.
Referring to the recently-refused application for a nearby onshore windfarm, she added: “The recent refusal, after years of campaigning by CPRW and others, of the Rhoscrowther windfarm on the Angle Peninsula, also marks a realisation that our cherished and designated landscapes need no longer be threatened.”
Blue Gem Wind, the joint venture between TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group, is currently on target to begin operating the 100MW Erebus project in 2026.
After consent was granted, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are ambitious for the floating offshore wind sector in Wales – we believe it has the potential to deliver sustainable sources of energy into the future and it is also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to open up new markets for local suppliers and to create thousands of high-quality jobs in Wales.
“The Erebus project has the potential to show the world that Wales and the Celtic Sea can deliver renewable energy alongside the sustainable management of our marine resources.”
Welcoming the consents, Mike Scott, project managing director at Blue Gem Wind, said: “Erebus, which will be the first floating wind farm in Wales, will play a crucial role in advancing the deployment of what will become a globally important low carbon technology.”