Large-scale floating wind farms may come to UK waters

20 July 2021

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to develop large-scale floating offshore wind farms off the north-east of Scotland. The partnership has submitted multiple proposals for the new wind farms, considered to be the largest anywhere using floating technology, as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind Leasing, which closed for submissions on 16 July.

Floating offshore wind – a technology that is considered ready for scaling up – is a solution designed for use in deeper water zones, where fixed foundations aren’t feasible; deep waters are characteristic of Scottish waters. It is expected to become an increasingly important part of the energy mix in the UK in meeting Net Zero targets.

ScottishPower CEO, Keith Anderson, said: “Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and has the biggest and most experienced offshore sector. Bringing ScottishPower and Shell’s collective knowledge, experience and expertise together means we’re perfectly placed to lead the way in developing large-scale offshore floating wind farms and creating a new green industry.”

Shell UK Country chairman, David Bunch, said “If our bid is successful, Shell and SPR are fully committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop supply chains and expertise which could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind.”  

ScotWind Leasing is the first round of seabed leasing for offshore wind in Scottish waters in over a decade and will grant property rights for new large-scale offshore wind project development, including floating wind, for the first time. Crown Estate Scotland is expected to announce the results of this round of leasing in early 2022.

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