Andy Thompson, Atkins’ delivery director for offshore wind, said: "Atkins has extensive experience in floating wind, having played a major role in more than half a dozen of these projects around the world. Naturally we are keen to see floating wind move from demonstration to commercial viability, so we’re pleased to be working with so many of the big names in the industry to continue to push forward the development of floating wind across the UK."

Global climate change calls for increased levels of electricity generation from renewable sources, especially offshore wind. On many coasts, water depth increases quickly with distance from shore and even where the water is shallow, the soil properties may not be favourable for bottom-fixed foundations. Floating foundations for offshore wind turbines make development of these areas possible and projections show that they have the potential to become cost-competitive. This way a new industry is created that develops new local supply chains, creates local employment and opens first mover opportunities to export components and services.

Floating substructures for offshore wind are in different stages of development and despite showing promising commercial potential, still require support to become state of the art technology. And there are common challenges faced by the industry that need to be overcome on the road to commercialisation. The role of Friends of Floating Offshore Wind is to identify these challenges and suggest initiatives and mechanisms that will address them to facilitate the rapid commercialisation of floating wind. The intention is that floating wind competes on an equal footing with other low carbon sources of electricity generation by 2025.

At first, the members decided to direct their activities towards creation of support primarily at the governments in Scotland and Westminster. Several issues have been identified as key requirements for both demonstration and pilot projects, such as improving the consenting process, setting up a support mechanism as well as introducing regulations that allow for the preferential reservation and connection of demonstration projects to the electricity grid.

Atkins is one of the founding members of the Friends of Floating Offshore Wind group alongside Pilot Offshore Renewables, IDEOL, Hexicon, GICON, Principle Power Inc., Glosten PelaStar, ACS Cobra, RES Offshore, and Floating Power Plant.