Offshore wind Denmark

Scottish Power and Shell propose North Sea floating windfarm

Image credit: European Commission

Scottish Power and petroleum giant Shell have submitted multiple bids for a large-scale floating offshore windfarm, as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind Leasing scheme.

The companies say their plan will create new jobs in the region (the north-east of Scotland) and contribute towards the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target.

Floating offshore wind is expected to be a significant area of green growth this decade as technology costs fall. It could prove a particularly cost-effective approach in areas with deep waters where fixed offshore wind is not feasible, such as the site to the north-east of Scotland proposed by the companies.

The Scottish coast is seen as an ideal location for offshore wind investment thanks to the Scottish government’s renewable energy ambitions and geographic considerations. Hywind Scotland – the first floating offshore wind farm – has the highest average capacity factor for any wind farm in the country, with average capacity factor of 57 per cent in 2020-21.

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

“With just a few months until the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, ScotWind will help create a whole new industry in floating wind that will play a crucial role in putting the country on course for a cleaner and greener future.”

Shell UK chair David Bunch added: “If our bid is successful, Shell and Scottish Power are fully committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop supply chains and expertise which could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind. At Shell we continue to grow our capacity to generate, trade and supply cleaner power to our customers and to play our part in powering the UK to net zero.”

The ScotWind Leasing scheme is the first round of seabed and coastline access leasing for offshore wind capacity in Scottish territory in more than a decade. It will grant property rights for large-scale offshore wind projects, including floating wind.

The companies will find out if their bids are successful early next year.

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