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Mon August 02 2021

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Bids roll in for more Scottish offshore wind farms

20 Jul The deadline has now passed for applications to build Scotland’s next generation of offshore wind farms and the bids are being assessed.

Crown Estate Scotland is holding a competitive tender for ScotWind, the seabed leasing for offshore wind. It is now beginning the process of examining each application and has said that it will confirm the general level of interest this week as well as the next steps.

Companies including BP, SSE Renewables, Scottish Power, Equinor and Ocean Winds have confirmed that they have submitted applications.

Colin Palmer, director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We really appreciate and acknowledge all the time, effort and investment that has gone into each and every application to ScotWind Leasing. We know that there is significant interest in Scotland’s ability to host major offshore wind projects, and our engagement with the sector throughout the development of ScotWind has been clear evidence of that.

“We’ll now look forward to the next stage in the journey, and beginning the work of assessing applications and, ultimately, awarding agreements that can help move some of these exciting potential projects closer to reality.”

Offshore energy company Equinor said that, with around half of the sites being floating offshore wind opportunities, it believes the Scottish government is offering a great opportunity to develop large floating offshore wind projects at scale. Equinor has more than a decade of operating experience from floating offshore wind and has floating wind turbines already deployed and producing electricity at Hywind, located off the northeast coast of Scotland.

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BP and partner EnBW have applied for a lease area off the east coast of Scotland that could support offshore wind projects with 2.9GW generating capacity. They said that a successful bid would bring multi-billion-pound investments into Scottish offshore wind projects and supporting infrastructure, including ports, harbours and shipyards. BP said that it would also use its integrated business model to invest in net-zero industries, including green hydrogen production and significantly accelerating the expansion of Scotland’s EV charging network. It would make Aberdeen its global offshore wind centre of excellence, supporting its growing portfolio of offshore wind interests across the world

Another bidder is a partnership involving Scottish renewable energy developer SSE Renewables, Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation and Danish fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Perth-headquartered SSE Renewables said that it already has Scotland’s largest offshore wind portfolio and claims it is building more offshore wind energy in the world right now than any other company.

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to submit multiple proposals for new floating offshore wind farms. ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: “Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and has the biggest and most experienced offshore sector. Bringing ScottishPower and Shell’s collective knowledge, experience and expertise together means we’re perfectly placed to lead the way in developing large-scale offshore floating windfarms and creating a new green industry with massive potential for exporting our skills and experience globally and helping the UK decarbonise its energy generation.”

Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind have submitted a joint bid to develop floating offshore wind generation in Scotland. The partnership brings together Ocean Winds’ experience delivering Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm (950MW Moray East) and Aker’s 40+ year history of supply chain and project delivery in the Scottish offshore wind and oil and gas sectors.  

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