Eni’s renewable energies spin-off Plenitude has teamed up with Irish offshore renewables developer Simply Blue to build a giga-scale pipeline of floating wind projects off Italy, starting with a pair of deep-water arrays in the Ionian Sea.

Though the joint venture’s long-term offshore wind portfolio ambition was not quantified, the first two wind farm projects were outlined as 1.3 gigawatt Messapia and 1.1 GW Krimsa prioject, capable of producing power for some 2.5 million households in the region, according to the two companies.

“Through this collaboration, the parties wish to combine Plenitude’s technical and financial capabilities and experience in the Italian energy market, with Simply Blue’s track record in developing global floating wind projects,” the pair said in a statement.

Plenitude chief executive Stefano Goberti, stated: “With this partnership Plenitude expands its portfolio of floating wind projects in line with its target of reaching 15 GW of renewable capacity by 2030 and reaffirms its commitment to creating an offshore wind supply chain in Italy.

“For Plenitude, offshore wind is a key contributor to the energy transition path and the achievement of our 2040 carbon neutrality targets to provide fully decarbonised energy to our customers.”

Simply Blue group chief executive Sam Roch-Perks added: “Italy represents a big opportunity in floating wind, and we look forward to combining our expertise and delivering innovative projects that will provide real solutions to the climate.”

The Messapia project will be located 30 kilometres off the Otranto coast and Krimisa project will be sited 45 kilometres off the coast of Crotone.

Plans for both developments have been “submitted to the relevant authorities”, said the two companies, adding: “The partners will work alongside local communities and other key industry players to develop innovative technological solutions and consolidate the Italian floating offshore wind supply chain.”

Plenitude is the decarbonisation flagship for Italian oil and gas major Eni, integrating energy services with renewables production, energy efficiency services and electric mobility in locations including Italy, France, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, UK, Norway, US, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Cork-based Simply Blue has emerged as one of the world’s most ambitious floating wind specialists, with a 10 GW pipeline of projects off its home market and the UK and partners including Orsted, Shell and TotalEnergies, and development plans in the US, Sweden and Iberia.

Consultancy DNV calculates floating projects currently make up over 15% of the total offshore wind deployment in the pipeline for switch-on by mid-century, equal to some 264 GW of the 1750 GW slated to be installed.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewables publication on 17 January, 2022)

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