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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Lauren Phillips

RWE and Marine Power Systems partner for Celtic Sea offshore wind opportunities

RWE has signed a contract to explore the feasibility of deploying up to 1 GW of offshore floating wind in the Celtic Sea using local ports and supply chains.

The largest energy producer and renewables operator in Wales has commissioned Swansea-based Marine Power Systems to develop a project plan using the ports of ABP in Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock for the floating wind foundation assembly and turbine assembly.

Marine Power Systems is currently developing an offshore wind platform solution, called PelaFlex, for industrial scale applications. The study will identify what materials and components could be sourced in south Wales and the wider supply chain.

Read more: The click-and-collect economy worth more than £1bn in Wales

The partnership will allow RWE to learn more about the foundation technology being developed and how it could be deployed from the region’s ports into the Celtic Sea.

RWE has already signed MoU's with the two deep water ports in the region - ABP Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock - as well as a co-operation agreement with Tata Steel UK which could see high-tech floating wind turbines in the Celtic Sea made with Port Talbot steel.

The operator is now preparing to bid for the Crown Estate Celtic Sea seabed leasing round in 2023 where up to 4GW of floating wind will be awarded, with many more gigawatts expected in the future.

Philippa Powell, the Celtic Sea project lead for RWE, said: "We are delighted to be working with Marine Power Systems to find solutions for maximising opportunities for the region’s supply chains, which will be so important for local and regional communities. At the same time, the study will test the future capability of our local ports to support the delivery of the multi-billion pound opportunities that the Celtic Sea floating wind opportunity offers.

"RWE is in an excellent position to help broker relationships between our trusted supply chain partners, such as between MPS, TATA Steel UK and with the local ports. MPS are reaching some exciting milestones in the testing of their floating devices and we also look forward to seeing the results from the testing facilities."

Energy equipment company Marine Power Systems' solution aims to help increase local content by leveraging existing supply chain capability and enabling a wide range of ports to support deployment.

MPS chief executive Gareth Stockman said: "We are delighted to be supporting RWE to help them understand exactly how our unique and flexible floating platform technology can be deployed in the Celtic Sea and how we can leverage local supply chain to do that.

"Our technology has been designed to optimise local content delivery through a decentralised logistics model, and these benefits help utility scale developers such as RWE minimise costs whilst maximising local economic benefits and accelerating industrial scale farm development. We are looking forward to working with RWE and colleagues at ABP Port Talbot and Milford haven Port Authority as well as RWE supply chain partners such as TATA steel.”

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