ScottishPower, part of the Spanish renewables firm Iberdrola, and Shell have secured joint offers for seabed rights to develop large-scale floating wind farms as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing. The partners have won two sites representing a total of 5 gigawatts (GW) off the east and north-east coast of Scotland.
The new wind farms will be delivered through two joint ventures called MarramWind and CampionWind.
The development, construction and operation of ScotWind projects is set to bring new skilled jobs and manufacturing opportunities and boost local supply chains, Shell said.
Wael Sawan, Integrated Gas and Renewables and Energy Solutions Director at Shell, said: “Shell and ScottishPower can now look forward to generating floating wind power at significant scale in the UK to accelerate the country’s transition towards net zero. Floating wind plays to our strengths in deeper offshore projects, and we are well placed to help advance the wider take-up of this important clean energy source. Renewable electricity will play an increasingly important role in our customer-focused strategy, as we provide more low-carbon products and services customers need for their own journey to net zero.”
Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said: “Offshore wind is set to become the backbone of the UK’s energy mix and will do the heavy lifting as we ramp up the production of clean electricity on the journey to Net Zero. Our ScotWind projects will make the best use of our fantastic natural resources to help power the UK’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables and a better future, quicker.
"They will also deliver investment, support jobs and boost supply chains – particularly in areas like the north-east that play a key role in the energy sector – opening up immense opportunities for businesses and institutions across the country. This is a pivotal moment that will reinforce the UK’s position as the global leader in offshore wind and give a significant boost to the economy. We’re excited to have the green light to kick start our plans and look forward to working with Shell and our supply chain partners – who can get in touch now – to bring the world’s first large-scale floating windfarms to UK waters.”
Once built, MarramWind’s and CampionWind’s floating wind projects could accommodate a total generation capacity of around 3 GW and 2 GW, respectively, bringing clean energy to power the equivalent of 6 million homes in Scotland. This is more than double the number of homes in Scotland today, Shell said.
The joint ventures have already started initial development planning and will continue to work at pace towards final investment decisions.
Floating offshore wind is suitable for use in deeper water zones, where fixed foundations are not feasible, making it ideal for Scottish waters. Almost 80% of Europe’s offshore wind resource is situated in waters too deep for conventional bottom-fixed wind turbines, Shell said.
Floating wind platforms are a proven technology to unlock these deeper waters but this will be the first time they are planned to be deployed at this scale anywhere in the world, Shell said.