Developer of renewable energy with headquarters in Stockholm OX2 has signed letters of intent with Swedish edible seaweed companies Nordic SeaFarm and COPPER to investigate the possibility of growing seaweed at one of OX2’s offshore wind farms.
Seaweed and sea breeze
OX2’s Galatea-Galene huge 1.7 gigawatt offshore wind farm will be located off Halland, a county on the Swedish west coast. It is named after two Greek sea nymphs, Galatea and Galene, and consists of two sub-areas approximately 25 km outside the towns of Falkenberg and Varberg.
Galatea-Galene is expected to consist of up to 101 wind turbines and generate approximately 6 to 7 terawatt hours of clean electricity per year. This corresponds to the average annual electricity consumption of more than 1.2 million Swedish households. (There are 4.8 million households in Sweden, for perspective.)
This offshore wind farm will be developed in a single phase. Construction is expected to begin in 2028 and be put into commercial operation in 2030.
Simon Johansson, CEO of Nordic SeaFarm, and Benjamin Ajo, chairman of the board of KOBB, say in a joint statement [via Offshorewind.biz]:
We see great opportunities to, in cooperation with both the fishing industry and the wind power industry, both retain and create new jobs when we investigate the possibilities of creating a new industry in Sweden in the form of large-scale aquaculture.
Develop the national food supply at the same time [offshore wind] farms help to stop the negative effects of climate change are more positive aspects.
All seaweed needs to grow is salt water and sunlight. It is a superfood that is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, and especially high in iodine, so it is very nutritious. (Note that crispy seaweed in Chinese restaurants is actually cabbage.)
It can be used to wrap sushi, in soups and salads, in snacks and instant noodles, and as animal feed.
Seaweed is also a source of food for marine life. In April, Electrek reported that a groundbreaking study found that the first U.S. offshore wind farm has had no negative effect on fish and has even been shown to be beneficial.
Here is a short video from Nordic SeaFarm showing how the company grows and harvests seaweed for consumption:
Pairing seagrass farms and offshore wind farms seems like an inspired idea.
Seaweed’s ability to absorb toxins and other pollutants from the ocean makes it environmentally friendly, but it’s not what people want to consume. That’s where the seaweed growers come in: they test the seaweed for safety and quality.
Any sustainable use of an offshore wind farm, especially one that provides both clean energy and nutritious food that requires neither fertilizer nor fresh water to grow, is a win. It is also another example of innovation that the clean energy revolution is bringing about in the fight against climate change.
Read more: This new innovation increases the energy output of wind turbines but costs nothing
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