Ocean Winds, Mainstream Renewable Power and ESB have inked seabed lease agreements with Crown Estate Scotland for the development of three floating offshore wind farms off the Shetland Islands in Scotland that are expected to generate 2.8 GW of power.
The three projects include Ocean Winds and Mainstream’s 1.8 GW offshore wind farm, a 500 MW development by Irish utility ESB and a separate 500 MW floater from Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDP Renewables and Engie.
Full seabed leases are granted at a later stage once applicants have obtained the necessary consents from regulators, such as Marine Scotland, and have secured grid connections and financing.
“Building on Mainstream’s Scottish development experience and the Aker group’s decades-long offshore heritage in the North Sea, we are ready to take a leading role in industrialising floating offshore wind,” said Sian Lloyd-Rees, UK country manager for Mainstream, which is set to merge with Norway’s Aker Offshore Wind with investment company Aker Horizons getting majority ownership of around 58.6%.
The latest additions bring the total number of ScotWind projects with option agreements confirmed to 20, corresponding to up to 27.6 GW of clean energy.
A total of £56m ($64m) in option fees will be paid by the three successful applicants, bringing the total figure for ScotWind option fees for the 20 projects to £755m ($866.5m). Once operating, projects will pay Crown Estate Scotland multi-million pound annual payments, which will be passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
This is the first stage of an extensive process that these projects will go through as they evolve through the planning, consenting, and financing stages. The responsibility for these next steps does not sit with Crown Estate Scotland, and projects will only progress to a full seabed lease once all these various planning stages have been completed.
“We look forward to listening to the many stakeholders who will have an interest in these projects as we start the development process to realise the potential of these projects. Developing a robust route-to-market to underpin future investment will be an early focus,” added Adam Morrison, UK country manager for Ocean Winds.