Thirteen offshore wind projects representing about 5.5 GW of capacity have been selected in a first-of-its-kind seabed leasing round in Scotland aimed at decarbonising offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea and fostering innovation.
Crown Estate Scotland today announced the results of its Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing process, offering initial agreements to 13 projects out of 19 applications. Five projects with a total proposed capacity of up to about 500 MW were selected for the Innovation category, which is for small-scale innovative developments of up to 100 MW. In the Targeted Oil and Gas (TOG) section, eight projects totalling 5 GW were offered the so-called exclusivity agreements. All 13 projects will use floating wind technology.
The signing of the exclusivity agreements will allow the developers to commence offshore wind development work while the Marine Scotland’s planning process for the INTOG Sectoral Marine Plan (INTOG SMP) is finalised. The next step will be the signing of option agreements with projects that are in the final INTOG SMP, which is expected to happen in 2024. The projects would then be able to proceed to the planning, consenting and financing stages.
Once the option agreements have been inked Crown Estate Scotland will receive around GBP 262 million (USD 322m/EUR 296m) in option fees from the 13 projects. It will receive additional revenues once the projects are operating.
UK green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds accounts for most of the proposed capacity in this leasing round. The company is partnering on its three sites with Frontier Power International. “Our development represents a multi-billion pound investment to create one of the largest offshore floating wind developments, supporting climate goals by removing tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions from oil and gas production,” commented Cerulean Winds founding director Dan Jackson.
“We are now working with our partners so that we can move at pace to help scale the supply chain in Scotland to deliver on this significant opportunity,” he added. Details of the INTOG projects plus a map can be viewed on Crown Estate Scotland’s website here. The INTOG leasing follows the ScotWind leasing round for commercial-scale offshore wind projects, where 27.6 GW of projects secured option agreements.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.229/EUR 1.130)