Simply Blue Group, an Irish-based floating offshore wind pioneer with over 3.2 gigawatts (GW) in development in Ireland and the UK, on Tuesday unveiled its key leadership team for new operations in the U.S., targeting floating wind development opportunities there.
The company says the U.S. market represents a 30 GW market opportunity for floating offshore wind by 2040.
"As industry and policy leaders seek solutions to speed the clean energy transition, experts report that almost two-thirds of U.S. offshore wind resources are in deeper waters requiring floating wind platforms, and this technology will ultimately match fixed offshore wind for delivering reliable, cost-competitive clean power to the 80 percent of Americans living in U.S. coastal communities. For the U.S., and globally, the power of floating offshore wind has become increasingly clear," Simply Blue Energy said.
Floating wind to match fixed-bottom offshore wind
"Over the next 20 years, the market for floating offshore wind will equal fixed-bottom offshore wind," said Walt Musial, who leads offshore wind research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "By NREL's assessments, some 60 percent of viable offshore wind resources in the U.S. can only be tapped with floating wind, and costs are coming down rapidly."
"Floating is the future and next frontier for U.S. offshore wind power," said Kevin Banister, Chief Development Officer & President, Simply Blue USA, who led offshore wind development at Principle Power for almost 10 years. "As Simply Blue assesses floating offshore wind markets around the globe, no opportunity ranks higher than the U.S. I couldn't be more proud of the team we've assembled to help responsibly develop offshore wind on all of America's coasts."
9GW project pipeline
Along with Banister, the industry veterans Simply Blue has appointed to lead its U.S. team include Stephanie McClellan, Ph.D., Chief of Strategy & Policy, North America and founder, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind; Alana Duerr, Ph.D., Director, U.S. Projects, who led DNV's North American offshore wind advisory team; and, Karolina Pietrzak, Deputy Chief Development Officer, who has a decade of U.S. and European offshore wind expertise.
"Our U.S. leadership team has, each in their own unique way, helped lay the foundation for U.S. offshore wind," said Sam Roch-Perks, CEO, Simply Blue. "Their expertise and experience are just what's needed to push the next frontier – floating wind off America's coasts. This team, combined with Simply Blue's experience in floating wind projects in Ireland and the UK, will hasten the expansion of U.S. offshore wind into new areas that have vast, untapped wind resources."
Cork, Ireland-based Simply Blue has a current floating wind footprint of over 3.2 GW in development and a total project pipeline of over 9 GW.
Simply Blue's projects in development include the 96 MW Erebus and 300 MW Valorous projects off Wales, under the Blue Gem Wind joint venture with TotalEnergies; the 1.3 GW project off the south coast of Ireland being developed by the Emerald joint venture with Shell; the 1.35 GW Western Star project off the Atlantic coast of Ireland; and the 200 MW Salamander project off Scotland with Subsea 7.