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Atlantis eyes 1.5GW floating wind project

Teaming up with French company Ideol, the developer will seek funding for the scheme and lead the selection of sites in the UK.

UK-based renewables developer Atlantis Resources has formed a joint venture with France’s Ideol to develop a floating offshore wind project with a capacity of up to 1.5GW.

The duo will work on a 100MW pre-commercial phase, to be installed by 2021, before proceeding with the larger development. They hope the project will act as a pathfinder to buoy the floating wind market in the UK.

A 30MW pilot floating wind farm, currently being developed by Statoil in Scotland, is set to be completed this year. This month the project received an equity injection from Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy investment company Masdar, which took a 25 percent stake.

AIM-listed Atlantis said it will lead the review and selection of potential sites for the project. A report released this week by the UK’s Carbon Trust noted attractive locations for floating wind sites are “largely in locations far removed from demand centres” and also face a “foreseeable funding gap” under the government’s current subsidy system.

Atlantis also said it will look to attract third-party funding for the development. The firm said two weeks ago it is “aiming to be the partner of choice for infrastructure funds” wanting to invest in such projects after announcing the expansion of its renewables offering from its previous tidal stream business. Its MeyGen tidal stream site, which could generate as much as 398MW, received a £100 million ($121.3 million; €115.3 million) investment from Equitix last year.

Chief executive Tim Cornelius said the company hopes to present floating wind, interconnector and pumped storage opportunities to infrastructure funds in the first half of this year.