British oil major BP and the German renewables firm EnBW submitted their bid for offshore wind acreage in the ScotWind leasing round, looking to secure the rights for a lease area off the east coast of Scotland that could support offshore wind projects with 2.9 gigawatts (GW) generating capacity.
The seabed round in which firms apply for the license to build wind farms has attracted the interest of both "traditional" renewables giants such as Iberdrola, Orsted, Ocean Winds, and Vattenfall, as well as from the oil majors looking to diversify, such as Shell, TotalEnergies, BP, and Equinor.
"A successful bid would bring multi-billion pound investments into Scottish offshore wind projects and supporting infrastructure, including ports, harbors and shipyards. BP also would use its unique integrated business model to invest in net-zero industries, including green hydrogen production and significantly accelerating the expansion of Scotland’s EV charging network," BP said.
BP said it would make Aberdeen its global offshore wind center of excellence, supporting its growing portfolio of offshore wind interests across the world.
"BP, EnBW and Forth Ports have already signed a Heads of Terms agreement with a financial commitment that will supplement Forth Ports’ £40million investment in their planned Renewables Hub at the Port of Leith," BP said.
BP said it would, with EnBW, also support and invest in a new skills capability accelerator developed by energy consultancy Xodus which will provide on-the-job project experience and formal learning.
"The five-year, multi-million financial commitment includes creating entry-level energy transition roles, and the reskilling of hundreds of oil and gas workers, graduates and technicians with renewable sector capabilities," BP said.
Dev Sanyal, bp’s executive vice president for gas and low carbon, said: "Through our bid we aim to do far more than only develop offshore wind – we believe it can help fuel Scotland’s wider energy transition. We want to harness the clean power from Scotland’s offshore wind and use our capabilities as an integrated energy company to accelerate the country’s EV charging network, build its hydrogen offering and strengthen its supporting infrastructure, including ports and harbors.
"This will all take the right skills and abilities. The bid would build on Scotland’s deep experience in offshore oil and gas, equipping its workforce and supply chain with renewable capabilities, including creating apprenticeships and supporting thousands of jobs. All of this is aimed at helping generate community wealth and creating a just transition in which people and communities do not get left behind.
In a separate social media post, Sanyal said, "if successful, [with the ScotWind bid], we would invest £10bn to accelerate Scotland’s energy transition, and propel Scotland to be a global leader in offshore wind!"
He said the bid had the potential to power over 3.4 million households.
"On paper, that’s 2.9 gigawatts of generating capacity with long 60 year leases," Sanyal said.
"The North Sea has long been a jewel in the crown of bp’s portfolio, and now it has the potential to make pioneers out of those seeking to maximise its offshore wind potential," said BP's executive vice president for gas and low carbon.