Photo: Image for illustrative purpose only; Source: Equinor/Hywind Demo (archive)

Italian company proposes to build 900+ MW floating wind farm with green hydrogen link

Among the many concession requests that the Italian authorities have received lately for the construction of offshore wind farms, an application has also been submitted by an Italian developer for a 900+ MW floating wind project that could use part of the electricity produced by the wind turbines for green hydrogen production.

Last month, a company called Wind Energy Pozzallo, directly managed by the Italian renewable energy developer Blunova that is owned by the Carlo Maresca SpA Group, applied for a 40-year maritime concession for an area in the Malta Channel.

The area is located in waters between the southern part of Sicily and Malta, in the stretch of water offshore the town of Pozzallo, whose Port Authority – together with the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility – is now processing the application.

The project, named Bluwind Pozzallo, is planned to have an installed capacity of 975 MW and would comprise 65 wind turbines with an output of 15 MW each, according to the planning documents filed with the Italian authorities.

The wind farm would have two offshore substations from which the energy produced would be transported via subsea cables to shore, with the landfall planned to be in the western part of the Municipality of Pozzallo.

Wind Energy Pozzallo, Environmental technical report

The company has also submitted a connection request to Italy’s transmission system operator (TSO) Terna in February of this year as the TSO is responsible for identifying the connection point.

Wind Energy Pozzallo, which plans to link the project from its landfall site via an underground cable and build an onshore substation near the delivery point, has assumed the substation would be located at SE Terna in Ragusa in the initial planning documentation.

The technical connection solution and the point of entry into the grid will be defined with Terna, also taking into account the possibility of using part of the energy produced for the production of green hydrogen.

The company plans to supply the green hydrogen produced by using floating wind electricity to potential local users in the hard-to-abate sectors, such as power-intensive industries currently using fossil fuels, such as the Augusta petrochemical plant.

In its application documents, Wind Energy Pozzallo has also referred to the European Hydrogen Strategy in the context of building its floating wind farm and adding a segment of green hydrogen production to the project.

Blunova, which controls the project company, has been operating in the renewable energy sector since the early 2000s and is developing a 2000 MW pipeline of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind farms, of which 370 MW has already been authorised with construction underway.