January 26 (SeeNews) - French renewable energy company Eolink said it is launching an EU-backed floating offshore wind project which will see one of its 5 MW turbines installed off the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea.
The five-year Black Sea Floating Offshore Wind (BLOW) project, which involves fifteen other players including Bulgaria's Petroceltic and Romania's GSP and Beia, has a budget exceeding 21 million euro ($22.9 million), Eolink said in a press release on Wednesday. It received a EU Commission grant under the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme in late 2022.
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The unit will use Eolink's lighter floating offshore wind turbine design, with engineering, manufacturing and commissioning work to take place by 2025 prior to large-scale deployment. The turbine will be produced at the Constanta shipyard of offshore services firm GSP in Romania. It will be connected to an existing gas platform run by Bulgarian oil and gas company.Petroceltic. On Wednesday, Petroceltic received an extension from the Bulgarian government for its concession of the Kavarna East gas block.
"The objective of this specific project is to demonstrate the competitiveness of floating offshore wind in lower-wind areas with the deployment of a large rotor diameter," Eolink founder and CEO Marc Guyot said.
According to a World Bank 2021 report, the Black Sea has a 166 MW of floating offshore energy potential, representing five times the electricity consumption of Bulgaria and Romania, according to Eolink chief commercial officer Alain Morry. He added that the goal of the project is to spur on offshore development across the region, which already has ongoing fixed-bottom offshore wind projects in Romania.
The project group's kick-off meeting held in Brussels last week worked out a plan for the starting phase of engineering, environmental and social impact assessment before the construction phase begins. Other participants in the project include Turkey's Offshore Wind Energy Association, Belgian mooring manufacturer Bexco and Spanish renewable energy firm Acciona as well as several academic organisations in Western and Southeastern Europe.
This is the second time Eolink will be deploying its patented concept in Europe after the France Atlantic Project, which targets connection to the French state grid by 2024.
($ = 0.9162 euro)