Three additional wind projects with a cumulative capacity of 2.8GW are now set to be developed in Scotland after being cleared via the ScotWind Leasing initiative, bringing the scheme’s overall capacity to 27.6GW.
Following the Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind clearing process, the expansion of Scottish offshore wind will now be increased with the NE1 area east of Shetland made available for ScotWind applicants that met the required standards.
A total of 14 applicants had been received with three projects selected and offered agreements reserving the rights to specific areas of land. £56 million is now being paid in option fees to the successful candidates.
The three projects are being developed by Ocean Winds, Mainstream Renewable Power and ESB Asset Development and will cover over 560km² of seabed. Of these, Mainstream Renewable Power has the largest capacity at 1.8GW. The projects add to the growing total of ScotWind project, which now sits at 20 projects under development.
The projects have also attracted significant supply chain commitments indicating an average of £1.2 billion investment in Scotland per gigawatt of capacity built.
“This is a fantastic result for Shetland and for Scotland. These projects have significant potential to really boost Scotland’s progress towards its net zero targets, including in relation to the opportunity around green hydrogen,” said Colin Palmer, director of marine at Crown Estate Scotland.
“Taking these three into account, the 20 ScotWind projects now total up to 27.6GW with initial supply chain commitments indicating an average of £1.4 billion investment in Scotland per gigawatt of capacity built.”
Once agreements are officially signed later in 2022, information on supply chain commitments made by the applicants as part of their supply chain development statements will be published.
A previous expansion of ScotWind earlier this year saw almost £700 million in option fees being passed to the Scottish Government.
A total of 74 applications were made, with the 17 successful projects – of which ten are floating wind – offered option agreements.
Successful floating wind projects came from SSE Renewables, Falck Renewables, Shell New Energies, Vattenfall, DEME, ScottishPower Renewables, BayWa r.e. and Northland Power. Of these, ScottishPower’s 3GW project has the largest capacity.
With the expansion of offshore wind becoming a key equation in achieving net zero for the UK, National Grid ESO has set out a pathway for a single, integrated approach to supporting the large scale rollout of offshore wind and its connection to the transmission network.
The Pathway to 2030 including the Holistic Network Design is one of the largest investment plans in critical electricity transmission networks since the 1950s and 60s.
It is designed to ensure that Britain’s transmission network is capable of meeting growing consumer demand and the need to connect increasing amounts of offshore wind if the UK is to meet its 50GW by 2030 target and transition to net zero.