Pre-Commercial Scottish Offshore Wind Projects for Future Leases

future offshore wind project pre-commercialization

Published Mar 29, 2021 8:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Seeking to take advantage of the UK’s aggressive efforts to build its offshore wind energy industry, additional companies are pursuing efforts to develop pre-commercial projects. The goal is to establish the project concepts and infrastructure to have them ready for acquiring future leases.

The UK’s Crown Estate recently completed a new round of project developments and announced plans to begin the process for the UK's largest offshore wind energy leases. The organization that manages the sovereign’s public lands reported that there was strong interest from the developing industry. It is proceeding with preparations of a lease area in the Celtic Sea, which will be three times larger than any rights previously awarded for floating wind in the UK. A total of six projects are envisioned each approximately 300MW in scale and these will also be a stepping stone toward additional projects off Scotland.

To prepare for the future leases, Norway’s Subsea 7, a developer of offshore projects and services for the evolving energy industry is partnering with Irish blue economy developer Simply Blue Energy for a project called Salamander, a 200MW floating wind project they hope to develop off the northeast coast of Scotland.

The companies have formed a joint venture partnership, where Subsea 7 has a minority interest, to develop a pre-commercial project. Subsea 7 has a track record in delivering offshore energy projects and knowledge of the Scottish supply chain. Simply Blue Energy will bring its floating wind development experience from its projects in the Celtic Sea.

“We are pleased with our early support to this project through Xodus Group, and that we are able to continue our engagement through the formation of this joint venture,” said John Evans, CEO of Subsea. “We look forward to working with Simply Blue Energy with the aim of bringing the project to a point where a strategic investor can come onboard.”

Energy consultants, Xodus Group, a subsidiary of Subsea 7, has been supporting the project from the inception stage and will continue to work with the project to develop the concept in readiness for acquiring a lease from the Crown Estate Scotland.

“Scotland is one of the best locations on the planet for the development of floating wind projects,” said Sam Roch-Perks, CEO of Simply Blue Energy. “Despite best intentions, previous projects have not achieved the hoped-for regional supply chain benefits, but we believe that for the supply chain to capitalize on the opportunities from ScotWind, a stepping stone project like Salamander is needed.”

According to the companies, this early engagement provides an opportunity to develop a sustainable Scottish supply chain that can deliver a responsible energy future and bring economic benefits associated with offshore floating wind.