More floating wind projects have been offered option agreements through ScotWind Leasing than fixed, with almost £700 million in option fees to now be passed to the Scottish government.
A total of 74 applications were made, with the 17 successful projects – of which ten are floating wind – having been offered the option agreements, which reserve the rights to specific areas of land.
Just under £700 million is now to be paid by the successful applicants in option fees, with this to be passed to the Scottish government for public spending, while the potential power generated is to provide for the expanding electrification of the Scottish economy as it moves towards net zero.
Successful floating wind projects come from SSE Renewables, Falck Renewables, Shell New Energies, Vattenfall, DEME, ScottishPower Renewables, BayWa r.e. and Northland Power. Of these, ScottishPower’s 3,000MW project has the largest capacity.
This project, alongside a 2,000MW project that was also successful, is being developed as part of a collaboration between ScottishPower and Shell. Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said the projects will deliver investment, support jobs and boost supply chains, creating “immense opportunities for businesses and institutions across the country”.
The fixed projects, meanwhile, are being developed by BP Alternative Energy Investments, DEME, Ocean Winds, Offshore Wind Power, Northland Power and ScottishPower Renewables. Of these, BP’s 2,907MW project has the largest capacity.
There is also one mixed project, a 495MW asset being developed by Magnora.
“The variety and scale of the projects that will progress onto the next stages shows both the remarkable progress of the offshore wind sector, and a clear sign that Scotland is set to be a major hub for the further development of this technology in the years to come,” said Simon Hodge, chief executive of Crown Estate Scotland.
It comes as greater focus is placed on floating wind across the UK. Last year, up to £160 million of UK government funding was made available to developers and manufacturers looking to invest in UK large-scale floating offshore wind ports and factories, with this to help to develop port infrastructure capable of mass-producing floating offshore wind turbines and installing them out at sea.
Indeed, in the announcement of this funding the government said that using the deep waters off the Scottish coast offers “huge opportunities” for Scotland’s coastal communities.
The UK currently has a target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, with this announced in 2020’s Ten Point Plan. It sits alongside the UK’s goal of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.