Scotland announces 17 offshore wind projects with 25GW generating capacity
The outcome of Scotland’s latest offshore wind leasing auction has been announced, with 17 projects approved for an eventual generating capacity of 25GW.
Out of a total 74 applications, Crown Estate Scotland chose the best 17, which have been offered the option of developing wind facilities on specific areas of the seabed.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said she welcomed the “truly historic” opportunity for Scotland’s net zero economy, which is expected to secure at least £1bn in supply chain investment for every 1GW of capacity proposed.
They will also generate around £700m in revenue for the Scottish Government and represent the world’s first commercial- scale opportunity for floating offshore wind.
The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2, with the largest project from Scottish Power Renewables generating 3,000MW followed closely by BP’s Alternative Energy Investments, which will generate just under that amount.
Crown Estate Scotland said that if any of the applications do not progress to signing a full agreement, the next highest scoring application will instead be offered an option.
Once these agreements are officially signed, the details of the supply chain commitments made by the applicants will be published.
A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending
“The scale of opportunity here is truly historic,” Sturgeon said. “ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, represents a massive step forward in our transition to net zero, and will help deliver the supply chain investments and high quality jobs that will make the climate transition a fair one.
“It allows us to make huge progress in decarbonising our energy supply – vital if we are to reduce Scotland’s emissions – while securing investment in the Scottish supply chain of at least £1bn for every gigawatt of power.
“This will be transformational. And because Scotland’s workers are superbly placed with transferable skills to capitalise on the transition to new energy sources, we have every reason to be optimistic about the number of jobs that can be created.”
Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s policy director, said: “Renewables are clearly the way forward, and this announcement marks a colossal step forward in UK offshore wind delivery. This auction alone is bringing in a bumper payday of £700m for the Scottish government; the supply chain investment if all projects go ahead could be up to £25bn, creating tens of thousands of jobs.
“It’s vital for the economy and for the climate that these projects progress smoothly to delivery, and the revenue generated must be channelled into accelerating the UK’s transition to clean energy.
“New renewable power is vital, but on its own it’s not enough. We need home insulation, upgrades to the energy system, with retraining and support for people working in high-carbon industries as they decline.”
In November, it was confirmed that a hydrogen storage plant would be built at the UK’s largest onshore windfarm near Glasgow, after the UK government approved a £9.4m grant. It will allow energy from the plant to be stored in the form of “green” hydrogen.
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