Norwegian energy firm Equinor on Monday confirmed it had filed a bid for floating offshore wind in ScotWind, the competitive tender offshore wind seabed leasing round being undertaken by Crown Estate Scotland. The deadline for applications ended Friday, July 16.
The seabed round in which companies apply for the right 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.
Equinor said that the ScotWind Leasing round was a good strategic fit with its ambitions to continue to develop its North Sea offshore wind cluster and further deepen its presence across the UK.
With around half of the sites being floating offshore wind opportunities, Equinor said it believed the Scottish Government was offering “a great opportunity to develop large floating offshore wind projects at scale.”
“Equinor has more than a decade of operating experience from floating offshore wind and is the world’s leading floating offshore wind developer with floating wind turbines already deployed and producing electricity at Hywind, located off the northeast coast of Scotland,” Equinor said.
“Since Hywind Scotland started operations in 2019, the flagship project consistently provided the highest capacity factor among all UK offshore wind farms, proving the true potential of applying floating wind technology to get access to the best wind sources,” Equinor said.
Equinor’s senior vice president for business development in Renewables, Jens Økland said: “Equinor has the experience and capabilities necessary to develop the next full-scale floating offshore wind farm in Scotland following Hywind Scotland.
“By leveraging our offshore execution capabilities and our leading position in floating offshore wind, we are ready to create more long-term value and drive the industrialization of floating offshore wind further. We see floating wind as an enabler for the Scottish Government to achieve its offshore wind targets and help reach its ambitious net-zero target of 2045.”
The Scottish Government has committed to reducing emissions to net-zero by 2045. To support this ambition, they have set a target to deliver up to 11GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Equinor said that, as operator of Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm located near Peterhead, it knows the potential that lies in developing offshore wind off the Scottish coast.