Scotland Adds Three More Floating Wind Projects, ScotWind Capacity Now Almost 30 GW

Three more floating offshore wind projects will be offered seabed agreements in Scotland after Crown Estate Scotland completed the clearing process for the ScotWind seabed leasing round. All three will focus on green hydrogen, according to the Scottish seabed manager.

The clearing process made available the NE1 area east of Shetland for applicants who met the required standards but did not secure their chosen location earlier in the leasing process.

The three selected projects are:

  • A 500 floating wind farm proposed by Ocean Winds
  • A 1,800 MW floating wind farm proposed by Mainstream Renewable Power and Ocean Winds
  • A 500 MW floating wind farm proposed by ESB Asset Development 

A total of GBP 56 million will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending. Projects are currently expected to pay Crown Estate Scotland GBP 4 million per GW per year once operating, which would also be paid to the Scottish Government.  

The projects offered agreements through the ScotWind round now include 20 developments that total up to 27.6 GW in capacity.

Scotland selected 17 offshore wind proposals in January of this year, securing a capacity of 24,826 MW, with floating wind farms accounting for 15,071 MW.

Now, with floating wind projects totalling 17,871 MW of awarded capacity and the ScotWind round yielding a little less than 30 GW, Scotland has gone well beyond breaking the record for a single offshore wind auction and for the awarded floating wind capacity.

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Initial supply chain commitments indicate an average of GBP 1.4 billion investment in Scotland per gigawatt of capacity built, according to Colin Palmer, Director of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland. Palmer also said the projects have significant potential to boost Scotland’s progress towards its net-zero targets, including in relation to the opportunity around green hydrogen

“The Scottish Government sees offshore wind – and the hydrogen production which we hope will be enabled by offshore wind – as one of the most important economic and environmental opportunities we have. It can reduce our carbon emissions, improve our energy security, and create tens of thousands of high quality jobs”, said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“It will bring benefits for all of Scotland – but it will be especially important in the north east, and a crucial part in the transition from being the oil and gas capital of Europe, to being one of the net zero capitals of Europe”. 

Ocean Winds, who was already awarded a ScotWind agreement for a 1 GW offshore wind project in the leasing round, teamed up with Aker Offshore Wind to apply for the development of floating wind farms through ScotWind at the beginning of last year. Mainstream and Aker Offshore Wind recently completed a transaction to combine the two companies and integrate Aker Offshore Wind into Mainstream.

Mainstream and Ocean Winds are also major shareholders of the floating wind technology provider Principle Power.

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Photo: Principle Power/Illustration