Simply Blue Energy, part of Irish blue economy developer Simply Blue Group, and Subsea 7, a global leader in the delivery of offshore projects and services for the evolving energy industry, have joined forces to develop the Salamander floating wind project, off the North East Coast of Scotland (UK).
The companies have formed a joint venture partnership, where Subsea 7 has a minority interest, to develop a pre-commercial project. Subsea 7 will bring its proven track record in delivering offshore energy projects, together with the company’s expertise and detailed knowledge of the Scottish supply chain. Simply Blue Energy will bring the floating wind development experience from their projects in UK and Irish waters of the Celtic Sea.
Salamander will be another stepping-stone project delivered by Simply Blue, following on from four such projects it is developing with Total and Shell, separately, in the Celtic Sea. These projects are focused on helping local supply chain develop their operations using a phased approach. Specifically in Scotland, commercial projects are anticipated to be developed under the ScotWind leasing process. The Salamander project of 200 MW will require a lease in due course from the Crown Estate Scotland, under the innovation and oil and gas decarbonisation leasing activities referenced in the Offshore Wind Sectoral Marine Plan.
With Salamander, Simply Blue’s current pipeline of projects in the UK has the opportunity to deliver up to 60% of the 1 GW by 2030 floating wind target set by the UK government in 2020.
Sam Roch-Perks, CEO of Simply Blue said: “Scotland is one of the best locations on the planet for the development of floating wind projects. As a leading floating wind developer, we want to contribute to the development of this market. Despite best intentions, previous projects have not achieved the hoped-for regional supply chain benefits, but we believe that for the supply chain to capitalise on the opportunities from ScotWind, a stepping-stone project like Salamander is needed.”
John Evans, CEO of Subsea 7 added: “Subsea 7 has a long track record of successfully delivering offshore energy projects which positions us well to support Simply Blue Energy at this early stage of the Salamander project. We believe that floating wind has an important role to play in the wider energy transition and a low carbon future. We look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy on this exciting opportunity.”
Sam Roch-Perks advised on its selection of foundation technology earmarked for project: “The Salamander project has followed a different approach to selecting a foundation technology. We have studied the capabilities of the supply chain in Scotland and, after a thorough analysis, we are focusing on a technology that we believe can, to a significant extent, be delivered locally. We are engaging with the supply chain to consolidate this research with great support coming from the DeepWind cluster.”
The Salamander project plans to use a floating platform concept that includes several innovations to allow this technology to be manufactured quickly with a high local content. In addition, a low draft requirement for the foundation will enable approximately 50% more Scottish ports to be considered for marshalling and assembly than would otherwise be the case.
Paul O’Brien of DeepWind said: “It’s great to see two of our most active members, Simply Blue Energy and Subsea 7, team up to deliver a floating wind project of such scale in Scottish waters off Peterhead. This completes a Celtic triple with Simply Blue now developing floating wind projects in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Even better is their plan to develop the local supply chain in Scotland to help deliver Salamander as a precursor to the commercial scale floating wind projects coming in the ScotWind leasing round. Great news all round.”
Simply Blue has the tradition of naming projects after ships. Salamander was a warship of the 16th century Royal Scots Navy. A wedding present from Francis I of France to James V of Scotland.
What leasing route would Salamander take?
The Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy published in October 2020 identified a potential route for leasing outside of ScotWind for pre-commercial stepping-stone projects aimed at both innovative projects and projects that support the decarbonisation of the oil and gas sector. The Salamander project team hopes that once these routes are defined in due course Salamander will be able to engage in any resultant leasing activities from Crown Estate Scotland to secure seabed rights.
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