Floating wind farm development in Celtic Sea offers economic boost for UK

Floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea could create up to 5,300 new jobs and generate £1.4bn for the UK economy, a new study has found.


The independent study, The Celtic Sea Blueprint, conducted by Lumen Energy & Environment for The Crown Estate, looked at the minimum requirements needed to deliver the first three projects outlined by The Crown Estate in December 2023.

It also examined the gaps, including ports deep enough for handling the turbines, vessels to service the sites, and export cables to transport electricity to land.

Addressing these gaps will be critical to establishing these first windfarms, and, with a further pipeline of windfarms expected in the region as well as rising global demand, the opportunities for ports, manufacturers and the wider supply chain could be far greater.

Action is required now, locally and nationally, to capture the opportunities associated with this technology.

Able to generate up to 4.5GW of electricity, the first three floating windfarms be some of the largest in the world.

The South West / Wales has the potential to be at the forefront of driving this development with opportunities from port infrastructure to SME support across the supply chain.


In particular, the research highlighted opportunities for the region from the assembly of the large floating platforms needed to house the turbines, building on the existing local high-skilled welding and concrete expertise and existing local suppliers.

It highlighted opportunities for local ports across the region from the assembly, transport and storage of parts during the construction and life-cycle of the sites, while the region’s shipping expertise could also be of benefit during the development stages.

More generally, the first three windfarms alone will need over 260 turbines spread across the three sites; over 1000 anchors to secure the floating turbines to the seabed, with at least 300km of mooring lines; and nearly 900km of cables to link up turbines and connect them to the electricity network.

In a statement, RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail, co-chair the Floating Offshore Wind Taskforce said: “Some of the world’s biggest floating wind farms will be built in the Celtic Sea, with turbines twice as tall as Blackpool Tower, platforms the size of football pitches and hundreds of kilometres of hi-tech cables. We need to ensure that we’re making that massive kit here, by upgrading ports so that we have the capacity to manufacture and assemble these enormous structures. If we don’t seize this opportunity to capitalise on our global lead in floating wind, other countries will do so, as the international race to develop world-class supply chains for this innovative technology is accelerating fast”.

The Crown Estate said it is now focussed on bringing key parties together to create an action plan for developing supply chain and infrastructure capabilities in the region and across the UK. This includes looking at funding and investment options to accelerate supply chain projects, including a pilot £10m fund from The Crown Estate to support early-stage projects looking to capture some of the opportunities identified in the research.