Green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds has revealed it will bid for four seabed lease sites with a combined capacity of 6 GW of floating wind to decarbonise the UK’s oil and gas sector under Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.
This scale will remove more emissions quickly, keep costs lower for platform operators and provide the anchor for large-scale North-South offshore transmission, Cerulean Winds said.
With well over GBP 6 billion of investment proposed for each 100-turbine site, the scheme would abate tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 in line with North Sea Transition Deal targets, the developer said.
Cerulean Winds, with its selected delivery partner NOV, has been engaging the supply chain for over 18 months and has a live request for information (RFI) with UK yards for the fabrication and assembly of its tri-floater technology.
The steel floating bases would constitute hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel, which unlike cement fixtures, can be floated out from shore which is said to be ideal for the UK.
The development is projected to create over 10,000 jobs many of which would be high-value manufacturing jobs in Scotland as a new generation of automated and hi-tech fabrication and assembly is established.
”We have a big, bold bid, which is ready to go on scaling the green economy, creating thousands of jobs and making Scotland’s oil and gas production the cleanest in the world,” Dan Jackson, founding director of Cerulean Winds, said.
”The scale we are proposing makes the project economics appealing for providing affordable green power to the platforms to replace gas and diesel generation through a combination of green electrons from wind and molecules from hydrogen. We are absolutely committed to the local supply chain benefitting from this development and far surpassing local content targets. Our base structure design can be floated in very shallow water depths suitable for the UK, unlike alternative cement floating wind structures which require 90 metres so can’t be built here.”
A consortium of tier 1 contractors is in place as well as a number of industrial and financial partners, leading financial services groups Société Générale and Piper Sandler, who have engaged the financial markets.
The development requires no subsidies so there is no expectation on the public purse. INTOG is for a very specific purpose and cleaning up the oil and gas industry does not need to be subsidised by the taxpayer, Cerulean said.
”There is a lot of concern about rising energy prices and energy security. Wind and green energy at this scale are a big part of the solution,” Jackson said.
”We are engaging with oil and gas operators and can see the appetite is there to get behind cleaning up production, and we can deliver in a way that minimises disruption. Whilst smaller piece meal wind developments are useful for testing concepts or innovations, it will take a UK wide solution to remove the emissions at the pace required to hit the net zero targets governments. Furthermore, our large scale scheme lowers the LCOE – cost of the power – which is highly attractive to the operators.”
INTOG will see developers applying for the rights to build small-scale innovative offshore wind projects of less than 100MW, as well as larger projects connected to oil and gas infrastructure to provide electricity and reduce the carbon emissions associated with those sites.
The areas of seabed to be made available are set out in the Scottish Government’s Initial Plan Framework, the consultation for which closed in October 2021.
The objectives of the Targeted Oil and Gas element of INTOG leasing are to maximise the role for offshore wind to reduce emissions from oil and gas production; and to achieve target installed capacity in a way that delivers best value for Scotland and supply chain opportunity in alignment with just transition principles.
The proposed scoring criteria and weighting for the Innovation projects will be price (30 per cent), innovation (40 per cent), and deliverability (30 per cent). For the Targeted Oil and Gas Projects, the split will be price (70 per cent), and deliverability (30 per cent).
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