Offshore wind and grid in Wales in collaboration with Welsh Government
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Welsh Government have collaborated to develop an understanding of what the floating offshore wind (FOW) sector requires in Wales, with the aim of maximising the economic benefits associated with the significant generation potential within the Celtic Sea. Following prior work that assessed how the supply chain surrounding the Celtic Sea can maximise local content, two further studies were completed to review the existing grid and port infrastructure in Wales, identifying the requirements needed for each to support the rollout of FOW at scale.
The grid study highlights where constraints in the Welsh transmission network will arise in a range of FOW deployment scenarios and proposes solutions to ensure that grid capacity is not a barrier, comparing both conventional onshore grid upgrades with offshore transmission network designs. The latter of which would minimise environmental impacts and disruption to local communities associated with building new onshore transmission assets. Strategic planning and undertaking proactive investment in the grid infrastructure prior to its use will reduce costs in the long term, and it is key that the Celtic Sea learns from previous offshore wind developments, where a lack of strategic planning led to the coastline being used inefficiently.