Simply Blue Joins NSF1 Seaweed-Offshore Windfarm Project

 Seagriculture EU 2024

The 10-hectare NSF1 combined seaweed and windfarm is planned to become operational in autumn of this year. Credit: Smartland Landscape Architects

Simply Blue Group, a blue economy project developer headquartered in Ireland, has joined the North Sea Farm 1 Project (NSF1) consortium to develop the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm located within an offshore windfarm. Positioned off the coast of the Netherlands in the North Sea, the 10-hectare farm is planned to become operational in autumn of this year when it will be deployed and seeded, with the first harvest expected to be in spring 2025.

Sponsored by Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund, the consortium intends to help address climate action targets in Europe by tapping into the vast, unmet potential of seaweed cultivation. Seaweeds are already being used in various European markets, including for animal feed, as health enhancers, cosmetic product texturizers, in agriculture to increase resilience of crops, etc.

Most of these products are made with imported or wild-harvested seaweed and the NSF1 partners think that Europe can do better than that. NSF1 plans to show that these products can also be made from locally, sustainably cultivated seaweeds.

The harvested seaweed from NSF1 will initially be used to make samples of food ingredients as well as ingredients for cosmetics and agriculture. With these samples, the consortium feels that the seaweed sector can better engage with the market.

Transitioning to a low carbon economy

Simply Blue Group is focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean ocean energy, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, and developing sustainable sources of protein, while attracting investment into coastal communities. It has a strong interest in multiple use of wind farms and believes that efficient use of sea space is key to working with the oceans on climate change and bringing more local communities and supply chains into the transition to a low carbon economy.

“At Simply Blue Group, we want our marine projects to make a tangible difference, which is why we’re delighted to join this consortium,” said Hugh Kelly, Co-Founder & CEO of Simply Blue Group. “We recognize that seaweed cultivation is a valuable tool in tackling climate change and supporting our oceans. We believe that, in time, offshore wind farms will have multiple uses, with seaweed production being one of them. By joining NSF1 we are making the first step on that journey.”

Eef Brouwers, Project Manager of the NSF1 initiative added, “We are delighted that Simply Blue Group has joined the consortium to help deliver this project. Their expertise in aquaculture and offshore wind will be valuable in the successful execution of seaweed production in an offshore wind farm for the first time. The project aims to help the seaweed industry in scaling-up within offshore wind farms and Simply Blue Group’s capabilities in both areas make them an ideal partner.”

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