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Falck, BlueFloat launch giant floating wind power project in Ionian Sea

Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy started developing their third floating wind power project offshore Italy and said it would have 675 MW in capacity. The emerging technology enables the installation of turbines in deep waters as they don’t have fixed foundations.

Italy is experiencing a floating wind energy boom when it comes to project development. The Ministry of Ecological Transition said a month ago that it received 64 expressions of interest for such endeavors since issuing a call in June. Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy, which set up a partnership in September, just announced a floating wind farm project of 675 MW.

They created a subsidiary called Minervia Energia to work on a plan to set up 45 turbines in the Gulf of Squillace in the Ionian Sea. The site is between 13 and 29 kilometers from the Calabrian coast, across the way from Greece.

Floating wind is safer bet than conventional offshore turbines

Floating technology allows wind turbines to be positioned in deep open sea without the need for fixed foundations, minimizing the impact on the environment and increasing the efficiency of the wind farm. Investors are also counting on less opposition from the local population as the facilities are far away from the shore. However, the world’s largest facility of the kind has just 50 MW.

The world’s largest floating wind power plant has a capacity of just 50 MW

The estimated annual output is 2.4 TWh, equivalent to the energy consumption of more than 600,000 households and the production of 45,000 tons of green hydrogen, the companies said. They submitted a request for a maritime concession and are holding a series of meetings with local stakeholders to inform them about the project.

Combined maximum capacity of three projects is almost 3.2 GW

It is the partnership’s third floating wind power plant project in as many months. The first one, the 1.2 GW Kailia Energia, is planned to be built near Brindisi in the Southern Adriatic. Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy recently revealed their subsidiary Odra Energia would develop as much as 1.3 GW in capacity also in the Ionian Sea, near the southern coast of the Apuglia peninsula.

Falck Renewables develops, designs, builds and manages renewable power plants. It said its has 1.35 GW in installed capacity in the United Kingdom, Italy, United States, Spain, France, Norway and Sweden. BlueFloat Energy is developing offshore wind projects in various regions of the world, the statement adds.

Italy’s National Wind Energy Association – ANEV has a target for floating offshore wind for 2040 of 5 GW, compared to zero capacity now.

AGNES to combine floating wind with floating solar

Italian energy services company Saipem announced plans in August to build some of the first wind farms in the Adriatic Sea, with a total capacity of 450 MW, in cooperation with domestic firms AGNES and QINT’X. But the projects, called Romagna 1 and Romagna 2, were expanded and they applied in October for fixed bottom turbines of 600 MW.

Another 100 MW in floating solar power panels should be installed next to Romagna 1. Furthermore, the facility off the coast of Ravenna is envisaged to power a 50 MW green hydrogen plant.

AGNES has three more offshore projects for the Adriatic – a combination of 2.6 GW in floating wind turbines, 800 MW in conventional ones and 210 MW of floating solar.

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