Former deputy first minister secures deal for two new floating windfarms

03/11/2023
Nicol Stephen (Flotation Energy)

FLOTATION Energy, led by Nicol Stephen, has signed a deal with Norwegian firm Vårgrønn for two offshore floating windfarms with up 1.9GW capacity.

The windfarms will be capable of supplying energy to 2.4million UK homes and will create up to 8,000 jobs during construction.

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Green Volt and Cenos will also provide renewable energy to oil and gas platforms, aiming to reduce their carbon emissions.

“Our Green Volt and Cenos projects will play a critical role in speeding up the energy transition, strengthening Scotland’s position as a global leader in floating wind,” claimed Mr Stephen, CEO of Flotation Energy.

The former deputy first minister added: “Participating oil and gas platforms will have electricity, currently generated by gas and diesel turbines, replaced by renewable energy. The windfarms will also deliver up to 7TWh of power back to the UK grid each year – the equivalent of providing affordable, renewable electricity for more than 2.4 million UK homes.”

“In an era where the cost of living is at an all-time high, offshore wind provides an effective, low-cost solution to help the UK tackle climate change and deliver
long-term renewable power.”

Cenos, the larger of the two windfarms, will provide up to 1.4GW of capacity from 70 to 100 turbines, around 125 miles east of Peterhead.

Green Volt has capacity of 560MW from 30 to 35 turbines. They’ll be anchored around 46 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast.

“Overall, the Green Volt and Cenos projects are estimated to save around 3 million tonnes of carbon each year,” added Mr Stephen. 

“This will play a crucial role in achieving Scotland’s 2045 Net Zero target and delivering The North Sea Transition Deal’s goal to halve offshore emissions by 2030.”

Who is Flotation Energy?

The company was set up just five years ago in 2018, aimed at “advancing the immense opportunities offshore wind offers globally”, according to the company website.

It was set up by Mr Stephen and former engineer Allan MacAskill, who both helped develop the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm, while Aberdeen businessman Martin Gilbert is a stakeholder.

Flotation Energy announced a partnership with Vårgrønn in September last year.

The development was secured as part of the Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.

Olav Hetland, CEO of Vårgrønn, said: “Our pioneering projects play a key role in the energy transition. 

“They have a direct impact by delivering renewable energy, but crucially Green Volt and Cenos are also advancing the offshore wind industry by scaling floating wind technology far beyond the size of current projects.

“By being frontrunner projects, which are already well advanced in terms of their development and the required environmental assessments, Green Volt and Cenos will contribute to establishing a new supply chain for floating offshore wind around the North Sea.”

RenewableUK’s senior policy analyst on emerging technologies Laurie Heyworth said: “Innovative frontrunner projects like Green Volt and Cenos will play a crucial role in boosting the development of a world-class floating wind supply chain in the UK for projects here and abroad.

“Our analysis shows that floating wind will provide more than half of the UK’s offshore wind generation by 2050, bringing over £43 billion in economic value and more than 29,000 jobs. 

“It will play a critical role in regenerating coastal communities in particular, with £4 billion of public and private investment needed to transform up to eleven ports across the UK into industrial hubs for mass roll-out of floating wind by the end of the decade.”

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