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Italy Approves First Floating Offshore Wind Project

floating wind turbines
Italy granted approval for its first floating offshore wind turbines (file photo)

Published Mar 25, 2024 5:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

To help demonstrate the potential for floating wind and to jumpstart Italy’s efforts, the Italian authorities last week approved the country’s first floating wind farm. While Italy has several projects in the planning stage for offshore wind energy generation, the country has only commissioned one offshore wind farm in 2022.

Italian Ministry for Environment and Energy Security granted approval for a project known as 7SeasMed Floating Offshore Wind last week. They completed the environmental impact assessment approving the project which is being led by Copenhagen Offshore Partners and is owned by a consortium that includes GreenIT, the Italian renewable energy joint venture between Plenitude (Eni) and CDP Equity (CDP Group), and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The plan for 7SeasMed calls for a 250MW floating offshore wind project located just over 20 miles off the coast of Sicily. It will be positioned on the western side of the island near Marsala. The estimates are that it will provide around five percent of Sicily’s total electricity consumption, powering more than 70,000 homes.

 

Consortium's map of proposed offshore wind farms for Italy (CIP)

 

Approval of the EIA paves the way for the construction and operation of the offshore wind farm, which the partners said will use cutting-edge technologies. By utilizing floating platforms anchored to the seabed, 7SeasMed aims to unlock new opportunities for sustainable energy generation while minimizing environmental impact. By deploying state-of-the-art floating platform technology, the project aims to showcase advancements in offshore wind technology, driving innovation, and expertise in the renewable energy sector. 

The investment consortium last announced a year ago reporting it had agreements to develop floating offshore wind projects in the Latium region and near Sardinia. They have grown their total portfolio to approximately 3 GW, making it one of the largest floating portfolios in Italy. In addition to 7SeasMed, they look to develop the Ichnusa (504MW, Sardinia) Tyrrhenian (500MW, Latium), Nurax (500MW, Sardinia), and Poseidon (1000MW, Sardinia) projects.  Their goal is to start commercial operation between 2028-2031.