Crown Estate Scotland, which held Scotland’s largest-ever auction of offshore wind permits, today announced that it has selected 17 projects out of 74 applications in its ScotWind Leasing round.


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Scotland’s big offshore wind auction

Crown Estate Scotland reports that the 17 projects together have a combined option fee of £699.2 million ($955 million) and a potential generating capacity of 25 gigawatts (GW). To put that in perspective, the current capacity of offshore wind in Scotland is about 2 GW. Business Green writes:

The projects range from 495 MW to six separate mega-projects boasting between 2 GW and 3 GW of capacity. Successful bidders include many of the established and emerging leading players in the offshore wind industry, including SSE Renewables, BP Alternative Energy Investments, Vattenfall, Shell New Energies, and Scottish Power Renewables.

The Scottish government notes on its website that the projects “have been offered the rights to specific areas of the seabed for the development of offshore wind power – with developers giving commitments to invest in the Scottish supply chain, providing opportunities for high-quality green jobs for decades to come.”

The projects are expected to secure at least £1 billion [$1.36 million] in supply chain investment for every 1 GW of capacity proposed. They will also generate around £700 million [$956 million] in revenue for the Scottish government and represent the world’s first commercial scale opportunity for floating offshore wind.

The ScotWind projects enable the British government to make a great leap forward toward its goal of achieving 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a statement:

The scale of opportunity here is truly historic. ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, represents a massive step forward in our transition to net zero, and will help deliver the supply chain investments and high quality jobs that will make the climate transition a fair one…

…[P]eople working right now in the oil and gas sector in the northeast of Scotland can be confident of opportunities for their future. The spread of projects across our waters promises economic benefits for communities the length and breadth of the country, ensuring Scotland benefits directly from the revolution in energy generation that is coming.

The scale of opportunity represented in today’s announcement exceeds our current planning assumption of 10 GW of offshore wind – which is a massive vote of confidence in Scotland. So we will now embark on the rigorous consenting process required to make sure we can maximise the potential that clearly exists in offshore wind while also ensuring that the impacts of large scale development  – including on other marine users and the wider natural environment – are properly understood and addressed.

While it is not yet possible to say with certainty what the scale of development will ultimately be, there is no doubt that the scale of this opportunity is transformational – both for our environment and the economy.

Read more: World’s largest offshore floating wind farm is now complete

Photo: Cobra Group

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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.