Floating offshore wind farm approved off Pembrokeshire coast which could power millions of homes

Construction is set to begin at the start of 2025, with the turbines in operation by the end of 2026 Credit: PA

A floating offshore wind farm with the potential to eventually provide power for four million homes has been approved off the Pembrokeshire coast.

Seven 14-megawatt turbines will be built on floating platforms 40 kilometres out to sea and will provide power to 93,000 homes initially, the Welsh Government said.

The floating platforms will be built in deeper waters than usual, where the wind is stronger.

The wind farm is part of a development which could see as much as 20 gigawatts of energy eventually produced in the Celtic Sea, with construction set to begin at the start of 2025 and the turbines in operation by the end of 2026.

The Climate Change Committee, which advises the Government on decarbonisation, said offshore wind should form the bulk of Britain’s electricity production by 2035.

Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon, described floating offshore wind as a "genuine game-changer" for south Wales earlier this month in the House of Commons, saying it could turn the region into a "green power superpower."

Labour and Conservative MPs have urged the UK Government to ensure new turbines are made by UK-based companies.

The new turbines, known as the Erebus project, will be erected by Blue Gem Wind, a joint venture between French multinational TotalEnergies and Irish ocean developers Simply Blue Group.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are ambitious for the floating offshore wind sector in Wales – we believe it has the potential to deliver sustainable sources of energy into the future and it is also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to open up new markets for local suppliers and to create thousands of high-quality jobs in Wales.

“The Erebus project has the potential to show the world that Wales and the Celtic Sea can deliver renewable energy alongside the sustainable management of our marine resources.”

Mike Scott, project managing director at Blue Gem Wind, said: “We welcome the decision from Welsh ministers to grant the necessary planning consents for project Erebus and have been working with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales and other key stakeholders since 2019 to develop a project that is sympathetic to the natural environment and minimises impacts to local communities and stakeholders.

“Erebus, which will be the first floating wind farm in Wales, will play a crucial role in advancing the deployment of what will become a globally important low carbon technology.”