Huge investment

Energy firms chosen to decarbonise North Sea

Nicol Stephen: delivering billions of pounds of new infrastructure investment

Crown Estate Scotland has announced the developers who have secured seabed rights to develop offshore wind projects that will power oil and gas platforms and millions of Scottish home with clean energy.

Thirteen bids out of 19 applications have been successful in the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply platforms.  

The INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) leasing process is different to any other previously carried out anywhere in the world. 

It has been designed to help achieve the targets of the North Sea Transition Sector Deal through decarbonising North Sea oil and gas operations. It also aims to further stimulate innovation in Scotland’s offshore wind sector, create additional supply chain opportunity, assist companies to enter the renewable energy market, and support net-zero ambitions. 

The process will generate about £262m in applicant fees and once projects are operating, further revenues will be secured. All net revenues from Crown Estate Scotland go to Scottish Government for public spending. 

Michael Matheson, Net Zero & Energy Secretary, said: “This milestone in the INTOG leasing round is the next step in realising another world leading opportunity for Scotland’s energy transition: helping both decarbonise our existing oil and gas operations while helping our offshore wind sector to expand, innovate and deliver on our ambition to be a renewables powerhouse.  

“The announcement from Crown Estate Scotland not only indicates that the INTOG initiative will provide a significant contribution to the public purse but ensure the continuing growth and development of Scotland’s offshore expertise and wider supply chain, supporting a true just transition for our energy sector.” 

Among the successful bidders is Flotation Energy, an Edinburgh-based offshore wind developer, which together with its Norwegian partner Vårgrønn, will develop two huge floating wind farms.

The companies have been awarded exclusive seabed rights by Crown Estate Scotland to develop up to 1.9 GW of capacity at Green Volt and Cenos in the North Sea. Together they will generate billions of pounds of investment and thousands of jobs.

Green Volt and Cenos wind farms could begin generating first power from 2027 and 2028 respectively, making them the most advanced projects for electrification and decarbonisation of oil and gas platforms with floating offshore wind in Europe.

The power and grid-connection supplied through these windfarms will provide renewable energy to oil and gas platforms in the surrounding areas, replacing power currently generated by gas turbines.

Simultaneously, up to 7 TWh of energy from the projects will be supplied to the UK grid annually, providing consumers with renewable electricity.

Overall, the projects are estimated to cut emissions by three million tonnes of carbon each year,  while supporting the commercialisation of floating offshore wind technology.

Former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Deputy First Minister and Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen, now CEO of Flotation Energy, said: “These floating wind farms will make a huge contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions from offshore oil and gas platforms by replacing industrial-scale gas turbines with renewable energy straight from our wind farms.”

He said they will also become long-term infrastructure assets providing renewable electricity to millions of Scottish homes. 

“The scale of these floating wind projects is huge. They will deliver billions of pounds of new infrastructure investment and help to create thousands of local jobs, giving a major boost to the Scottish supply chain. 

“Today’s announcement allows us to get ahead with delivering renewable electricity to offshore platforms well before the end of the decade. Our challenge now is to drive forward with the delivery of these exciting projects as quickly as possible.”

Vårgrønn is a joint venture between Plenitude (Eni) and HitecVision. It holds a 20% stage in the world’s largest offshore wind farm under construction, Dogger Bank (UK) and is developing floating and bottom-fixed offshore wind projects in Norway.

Vårgrønn’s ambition is 5 GW installed and sanctioned offshore wind capacity by 2030 in the northern European market.

Winning bids

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