RWE, Wales’ biggest power producer, is partnering with the U.K.’s largest port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), and the U.K.’s largest energy port, the Port of Milford Haven, to investigate the scaling-up of port facilities in support of a pipeline of GW-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
Working together under a memorandum of understanding (MoU), they will investigate the potential for transforming infrastructure at ABP Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock into hubs for the manufacture, assembly and loadout of high-tech floating wind turbines and foundations, bound for the Celtic Sea, as well as floating operation and maintenance capability.
“RWE is committed to working in partnership with Welsh government and industry as the country looks to meet all of its electricity needs from renewables by 2035,” says Tom Glover, RWE’s U.K. country chair. “For ABP, Milford Haven and RWE, it is clear that there is vast economic potential from offshore wind in Wales; not just in providing a renewable and sustainable energy source, but also protecting and creating skilled jobs and careers and driving fresh investment in the region.”
“This memorandum of understanding solidifies our intention to focus on and invest in industrial Welsh ports, local and national supply chains, and coastal communities,” adds Glover. “Alongside the ports, we look forward to generating widespread opportunities for regional and national growth as a result of floating wind deployment in the Celtic Sea.”
RWE is proposing to build commercial-scale floating wind projects off the Welsh coast, as part of The Crown Estate’s forthcoming Celtic Sea leasing round. If successful in the leasing round, the projects will play a key role in realizing RWE’s Pembroke Net Zero Centre, as well as decarbonizing net zero progress in wider industrial processes and transportation across South Wales. ABP and the Port of Milford Haven are developing plans for new infrastructure at Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock to service a pipeline of floating offshore wind projects off the Welsh coast.
The companies will investigate current and future port capabilities and propose solutions to deliver RWE’s preferred floating wind technologies out of South Wales ports, as well as a much broader pipeline of renewable energy technologies and projects across England and Wales, including hydrogen. This will include undertaking technical assessments, feasibility studies and economic impact studies of port capabilities and readiness to support the development of floating offshore wind projects.
The partnership will also allow the companies to provide expert technical assistance and support to The Crown Estate during their process of Celtic Sea site leading and evaluation.
“This MOU with RWE marks an important step towards realizing the potential of floating offshore wind (FLOW) for South Wales,” states Henrik Pedersen, CEO of Associated British Ports. “ABP’s ports in Wales have always been a vital part of Wales’s industrial heartland, and Port Talbot is at the heart of the opportunity that the Celtic Sea offers to revolutionize the regional economy and bring the UK closer to net zero. We are tremendously excited about the future of FLOW for South Wales.”
“Our MoU with RWE marks the start of a very exciting future for the economy of South Wales,” comments Andy Jones, CEO at the Port of Milford Haven. “Maximizing the existing skills, industrial and natural assets that surround the Port will ensure Wales realizes the full economic benefit of floating offshore wind, providing significant supply chain opportunities, well-paid careers for future generations and a stronger, greener Welsh economy.”