Crown paves way for more floating wind farms off Wales

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Off-shore wind turbineImage source, Principle Power
Image caption,
A bid to build a floating wind farm off the Pembrokeshire coast was announced in November

Plans to allow more floating wind farm projects to be developed off the Welsh coast have been described as "significant and exciting" for Wales.

Renewable UK Cymru said it could lead to thousands of jobs along the south west coast.

The Crown Estate announced it was preparing to take fresh bids from those wanting to use the technology.

Seabed rights have already been granted for Wales' first floating wind farm off the Pembrokeshire coast.

Mooring lines are used to tether floating turbine towers to the sea base.

The next leasing round for the Celtic Sea - the waters off south Wales and the south west of England - will focus on wind farms up to three times larger than any rights previously awarded to the technology in the UK.

Rhys Wyn Jones, director of Renewable UK Cymru, said it "paved the way for a burgeoning, commercial-scale floating wind industry in the Celtic Sea from which Wales stands to benefit not only in meeting our net zero obligations and our targets for producing renewable energy, but also economically as well".

He said there was a "huge amount of work" happening to develop a supply chain for floating wind and other marine technologies in Wales and the industry was "very excited [that] things are coming together".

Huub den Rooijen, director of The Crown Estate's energy, minerals and infrastructure portfolio, said floating offshore wind was "the next frontier of the UK's clean energy ambitions, offering an exciting opportunity to deliver more green energy, in new areas".

He added the announcement was an "important step in providing the market the confidence it needs to plan and invest, bringing with it huge opportunities for jobs and the supply chain".

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