This week BP and EnBW have submitted bids for the Scot Wind lease area off the east coast of Scotland following plans for a major new floating offshore wind turbine, which can sustain offshore wind projects with a capacity of 2.9 GW.
However, the competing companies have made proposals that extend far beyond the proposed new offshore wind farm itself, including ports, ports, shipyards, green hydrogen facilities, and Scottish electric vehicle (EV) charging networks.
If the bid is successful, BP ensured that it would make Aberdeen “a new global offshore wind centre of excellence”, and would use it to expand its portfolio of offshore winds worldwide.
The company also stated that it would invest in a new capabilities and skills accelerator, providing workers new to the offshore wind industry with on-site project experience and formal learning.
Dev Sanial, Executive Vice President of Gas and Low Carbon at BP, said: “We use clean electricity from Scotland’s offshore wind and leverage our capabilities as an integrated energy company to accelerate the country’s EV charging network, build hydrogen supplies, and include ports and ports. We want to strengthen our support infrastructure.
“This all requires the right skills and abilities. This bid is built on our in-depth experience with offshore oil and gas in Scotland, and includes employee and supply chain support for apprenticeship creation and thousands of employment. It provides reproducible capabilities to the public. This is all about the purpose: to help create wealth for the community and to create a fair transition that leaves people and the community untouched.
Conversely, Renewable UK’s new CEO, Dan McGrail, said it poses a “major challenge” despite lower costs of offshore wind power to reach the government’s goal of 40 GW capacity by 2030. The difficulty of securing grid connections, the long planning process, and lack of long-term clarity of the government’s schedule for issuing submarine leases and conducting clean electricity contract auctions could disrupt the development.