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    BP, other IOCs line up for Scottish wind projects


Scotland wants to have 11 GW of offshore wind generation up and running by 2030.

by: Joseph Murphy

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BP, other IOCs line up for Scottish wind projects

BP, Eni, Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies were among the international oil companies (IOCs) to file bids in Scotland's landmark ScotWind leasing round for offshore wind projects.

Dozens of energy companies participated in the contest, which was launched by the Crown Estate Scotland six months ago and aims to support a ramp-up in Scotland's offshore wind capacity to 11 GW by 2030. The country currently has 5.6 GW of approved capacity, of which 1 GW is already operational.

The deadline for submissions in the contest was July 16, and results will be published in early 2022. IOCs were among the key bidders in the round, looking to stake key positions in the emerging UK energy transition industry as conventional growth opportunities in oil and gas become scarcer.

BP confirmed on July 19 that its joint venture with EnBW had bid to develop 2.9 GW of offshore wind generation in ScotWind. The UK aims to have 50 GW of renewable energy capacity up and running by 2030, up from a mere 3.3 GW in 2020, as part of its planned transformation from oil and gas major to integrated energy group.

"Through our bid we aim to do far more than only develop offshore wind – we believe it can help fuel Scotland’s wider energy transition," BP's vice president for gas and low carbon, Dev Sanyal, commented. "We want to harness the clean power from Scotland’s offshore wind and use our capabilities as an integrated energy company to accelerate the country’s EV charging network, build its hydrogen offering and strengthen its supporting infrastructure, including ports and harbours."

Equinor also said it had filed submissions in the tender, but did not say for much capacity. The company noted to its experience in floating offshore wind generation – it is currently building the world's largest offshore wind farm, the 88-MW Hywind Tampen, in the Norwegian North Sea. It is also a partner in developing the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank wind farm off the UK, the world's overall largest wind farm, and has plans to double the offshore wind capacity off the coast of Norfolk.

Eni also said in mid-July it had set up a joint venture with Red Rock Power to bid in the Scottish wind tender, while Shell formed a similar partnership with ScottishPower, and TotalEnergies with Macquarie Group's Green Investment Group and Scotland's Renewable Infrastructure Development Group.