Wind energy – floating wind
The Falck Renewables / BlueFloat Energy partnership set up to develop floating offshore wind farms off the Italian coast has announced the creation of Minervia Energia, an ad hoc company to develop a floating offshore wind farm off Catanzaro.
The partnership builds on Falck Renewables’ strong local presence and development track record in Italy combined with BlueFloat Energy’s expertise in floating offshore wind around the world.
Floating offshore wind farms have a key role to play in the energy transition and in achieving the Italian national decarbonization goals set for 2030 as they can make a significant contribution to the energy independence of the country while protecting the environment.
Floating technology allows wind turbines to be positioned in deep open sea where the wind resource is highest without the need for fixed foundations, minimizing impact on the environment and increasing the efficiency of the wind farm.
Recognizing the potential for this technology in Italy, the developers have chosen Calabria as a location for the proposed 45-turbine Minervia Energia floating wind farm in the Gulf of Squillace, between 13 and 29 km from the coast.
The proposed wind farm would have an installed capacity of 675 MW, producing 2.4 terawatt hours annually, equivalent to the energy consumption of more than 600,000 households, and avoid 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Energy from the development could also be used to produce 45,000 tons of green hydrogen annually.
The developers submitted a request for a maritime concession to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Port System Authority of the Southern Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas at the beginning of December and have started the preliminary consultation (scoping) process which will define the Environmental Impact Assessment study.
In addition to generating clean energy, the Minervia Energia project is based on a collaborative approach which shares value with the communities near the wind farm. In line with their other projects the developers are holding a series of meetings with local stakeholders to share more information about the proposed project.
It is estimated that the floating offshore wind farm could create 2,500 direct jobs during the manufacturing, assembly and construction phase, with the goods and services for the construction and maintenance of the development primarily sourced from local companies.
The developers are also proposing using the region’s main port during construction and long-term maintenance of the wind farm, providing an added economic boost to the area. Partnerships with universities and technology companies would be an opportunity to promote the area as a future hub for innovation, research and development.