TotalEnergies, Partners Bid to Build 2GW Offshore Wind Farm West of Orkney

September 29, 2021

Scrabster Harbour - Credit: RIDG
Scrabster Harbour - Credit: RIDG

TotalEnergies, a French oil major working to increase its involvement in the renewable energy industry, has with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Scottish developer RIDG, announced their bid for an offshore wind project in an area west of the Orkney Islands. 

TotalEnergies said that the two-gigawatt proposal – named the West of Orkney Windfarm – has the potential to power more than two million homes and is currently being evaluated by the Crown Estate Scotland as part of the ScotWind leasing round.

ScotWind is a seabed leasing round, managed by Crown Estate Scotland, which aims to enable up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of new offshore wind farms to be constructed in the country’s coastal waters.

The application window for registered applicants opened in January 2021, and the deadline for applications was 5 pm on Friday, July 16, with 74 applications submitted.

"The bid is the culmination of five years of engagement between the consortium and stakeholders in Caithness and Orkney, which includes Memorandums of Understanding with Orkney Harbour Authority and Scrabster Harbour Trust to enhance port infrastructure and position the area competitively to support offshore wind projects in the future," TotalEnergies said.

The partners have also signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding with the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney (EMEC).

“Scotland has been a pioneer in the deployment of renewable electricity – and now, through projects to be delivered via ScotWind, we believe it could play a role in showcasing a deep and economy-wide energy transition. By working with local partners, we can ensure that we create sustainable, long-term jobs in Caithness and Orkney as part of this transition to a net-zero economy” said Edward Northam, Head of GIG Europe. 

"TotalEnergies is delighted to participate in this tender alongside GIG and RIDG. We will provide our resources and expertise in offshore operations and maintenance to ensure the success of this project in close collaboration with the local community and industry which we aim to strengthen. Our participation in the tender is an illustration of our commitment to support Scotland in its energy transition towards its Net Zero target by 2045. If awarded, this project will contribute to our goal of reaching 100 GW of renewable generation capacity by 2030,” said Julien Pouget, Senior Vice President Renewables at TotalEnergies. 

“RIDG first put the West of Orkney Windfarm on the map back in 2016; since then, we’ve been working closely with local stakeholders to ensure any project we bring forward delivers for the local economy. We were therefore delighted to submit our bid as part of a consortium designed specifically around this location, and particularly excited to do this with the support of so many local businesses, who will be vital for successful project delivery” said Mike Hay, Director of Scottish developer RIDG. 

The consortium said it had undertaken extensive site investigations, including birds, marine mammals, and near-shore geophysical surveys, and has finalized a grid connection agreement with National Grid that will enable the project to start generation in 2029.

The ScotWind round has attracted the interest of both "traditional" renewables giants such as Iberdrola, Orsted, Ocean Winds, RWE, and Vattenfall, from the oil majors looking to diversify, such as Shell, TotalEnergies, and BP, and from offshore services firms such as TechnipFMC, Deme Offshore, and BW Offshore.

Per info on the Crown Estate Scotland website, Scotland's goal is to have 50% of the country’s overall energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030, and to reach reaching net zero emissions by 2045.

ScotWind is the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade and is designed to help the country meet its climate and emissions reductions goals.



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