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ScottishPower and Shell team up for large-scale floating offshore wind development

If accepted, the it would be the world's first large-scale floating offshore wind farm Shell and ScotishPower have said. Image: ScottishPower.

If accepted, the it would be the world's first large-scale floating offshore wind farm Shell and ScotishPower have said. Image: ScottishPower.

ScottishPower and Shell have teamed up to submit proposals for the world’s first large-scale floating offshore windfarms.

The proposals have been submitted as part of the Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind Leasing, and would see the pair develop the windfarms in the north-east of Scotland.

Because floating offshore wind doesn’t need fixed foundations it is well suited to deeper water zones such as those off the coast of Scotland.

“Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and has the biggest and most experienced offshore sector,” said ScottishPower CEO, Keith Anderson. “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.”

The two companies have a collective portfolio of over 2GW of operational wind, over 11GW of offshore in development and over 700MW of floating wind in various stages of development.

ScotWind Leasing is the first round of seabed leasing in Scottish waters for over a decade, and the first to include floating wind. The results are expected to be announced by Crown Estate Scotland in early 2022.

Shell UK country chair, David Bunch said “If our bid is successful, Shell and ScottishPower 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.”

The proposal follows nine of the UK’s energy trade associations calling for the country to set a 2GW floating wind target in June, with a robust framework to deliver growth.

Floating wind is poised to scale up, and in March received a boost from the UK government, receiving a share of £92 million in funding to enable green innovators to drive forwards its development. Additionally, the Contracts for Difference auction set to be held in December will include the technology, providing further support for the nascent technology.

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