Shell and ScottishPower have secured joint offers for seabed rights to develop large-scale floating wind farms as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing. The partners have won two sites representing a total of 5 gigawatts (GW) off the east and north-east coast of Scotland.
The new wind farms will be delivered through two joint ventures called MarramWind and CampionWind. They bring together ScottishPower’s and Shell’s decades of experience working offshore and significant presence in Scotland, as well as their strong innovation capabilities for delivering world-class offshore energy projects.
The development, construction, and operation of ScotWind projects is set to bring new skilled jobs and manufacturing opportunities and boost local supply chains.
“Shell and ScottishPower can now look forward to generating floating wind power at significant scale in the UK to accelerate the country’s transition towards net zero. Floating wind plays to our strengths in deeper offshore projects, and we are well placed to help advance the wider take-up of this important clean energy source. Renewable electricity will play an increasingly important role in our customer-focused strategy, as we provide more low-carbon products and services customers need for their own journey to net zero,” Wael Sawan, Integrated Gas and Renewables and Energy Solutions Director at Shell, said.
“Offshore wind is set to become the backbone of the UK’s energy mix and will do the heavy lifting as we ramp up the production of clean electricity on the journey to Net Zero. Our ScotWind projects will make the best use of our fantastic natural resources to help power the UK’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables and a better future, quicker. They will also deliver investment, support jobs and boost supply chains – particularly in areas like the north-east that play a key role in the energy sector – opening up immense opportunities for businesses and institutions across the country. This is a pivotal moment that will reinforce the UK’s position as the global leader in offshore wind and give a significant boost to the economy. We’re excited to have the green light to kick start our plans and look forward to working with Shell and our supply chain partners – who can get in touch now – to bring the world’s first large-scale floating windfarms to UK waters,” Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, added.
Once built, MarramWind’s and CampionWind’s floating wind projects could accommodate a total generation capacity of around 3 GW and 2 GW, respectively, bringing clean energy to power the equivalent of 6 million homes in Scotland. This is more than double the number of homes in Scotland today.
The joint ventures have already started initial development planning and will continue to work at pace towards final investment decisions.
Floating offshore wind is suitable for use in deeper water zones, where fixed foundations are not feasible, making it ideal for Scottish waters. Almost 80% of Europe’s offshore wind resource is situated in waters too deep for conventional bottom-fixed wind turbines. Floating wind platforms are a proven technology to unlock these deeper waters, but this will be the first time they are planned to be deployed at this scale anywhere in the world.
ScottishPower and Shell have 70 years’ combined experience offshore in Scotland, with over 50 years’ experience offshore in the North Sea. In addition, the partners have over 15 years of combined experience in floating offshore wind. The combined ScottishPower and Shell portfolio includes more than 2 GW of operational offshore wind, more than 11 GW of offshore wind in development and additionally more than 700 MW of floating wind in various stages of development.
ScottishPower already has considerable experience in building and operating offshore windfarms and completed its flagship East Anglia ONE windfarm in 2020. It has ambitions to develop the £6.5 billion 3.1 GW East Anglia Hub – three separate windfarms projects off the Suffolk coast. Subject to securing planning consent and Contracts for Difference for all three projects, the Hub could support up to 7,000 jobs during development, construction, and operations, as well as significantly support the UK supply chain.
Shell is already developing floating wind projects in Ireland, France, Norway, and South Korea. In 2021, the company signed an agreement with Simply Blue Group to acquire a majority share of their Western Star venture, which aims to build a floating wind farm off the Clare coast of Ireland. Shell also has a similar agreement with the group to jointly develop the Emerald floating wind project off the south coast of Ireland. They have acquired EOLFI, a French renewable energy developer specialising in floating wind power. Shell is a major shareholder in TetraSpar (Shell interest 46.2%), which is developing an innovative floating wind demonstration project off the coast of Norway. The company is also developing a project with CoensHexicon that could bring 1.4 GW of floating wind power to South Korea.
ScottishPower and Shell support the UK to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and the ambitious targets of Scotland and the UK for net zero emissions by 2045 and 2050 respectively.
ScottishPower is part of the Iberdrola Group, a global energy leader, the number-one producer of wind power. Responsible for progressing Iberdrola’s renewable energy projects in the UK, ScottishPower also manages the development, construction, and operation of offshore windfarms throughout the world and currently has over 40 operational windfarm sites generating more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy.
ScottishPower is a Principal Partner for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. It is developing an energy model that will play a significant role towards reaching the UK’s world-leading climate change targets and is investing a total of £10 billion between 2020-2025 in the clean energy generation and networks infrastructure needed to help the UK decarbonise and reach Net Zero emissions.
Iberdrola is a world leader in the development of offshore wind energy, with an operational capacity portfolio and early-stage developments of approximately 35 GW in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Brazil. Focused on countries with ambitious targets, the company expects to have 18GW of offshore wind power in operation by 2030.
In Europe, Iberdrola is at the forefront of the offshore wind market with 1,300 MW of operational capacity in Germany (Wikinger) and the UK (East Anglia ONE and West of Duddon Sands) and almost 1,000MW coming soon in Germany (Baltic Eagle) and France (St. Brieuc). In the USA, Iberdrola is the North American market leader in offshore wind, with 4,900 MW of projects in its portfolio. This includes the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the country – the 800 MW Vineyard Wind, off the coast of Massachusetts.
Having already invested $120 billion over the past twenty years, Iberdrola has recently launched a record investment plan of 150 billion euros for the next decade, nearly 75 billion by 2025. These plans will enable the company to triple its renewable capacity to 95,000 MW and double its grid assets, supporting the ongoing energy transition in the world’s major economies.
Shell has a long history in Scotland and today employs around 1,000 people in the north-east of Scotland. In 2018, an analysis suggested that Shell’s activity in Scotland created around 11,700 full-time equivalent jobs in the wider Scottish economy and generated £775 million gross value added. Through investing in the local supply chain Shell has also supported more than 3,000 jobs in the Scottish services sector.
Today Shell has deployed or is developing more than 6 GW of wind power generation capacity across North America, Europe, the UK, and Asia.
Globally, Shell is building an integrated power business that will provide customers with low-carbon and renewable energy solutions. Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions spans trading, generation, and supply. They offer integrated energy solutions including hydrogen, solar, wind and electric vehicle charging at scale, while buying nature-based carbon credits and using technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system.
Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.