Scotland Selects 13 Offshore Wind Projects for Oil & Gas Sector

Scotland offshore wind
Projects look to power offshore oil & gas platforms with wind energy to reduce or eliminate emissions from diesel generators (Crown Estate Scotland)

Published Mar 24, 2023 5:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

Scotland selected the first projects in an innovative program designed to help decarbonize operations in the North Sea by combining offshore wind with the current oil and gas operations. It is the latest in a series of projects that look to replace diesel generator power to make the existing platforms greener in their operations reducing emissions. 

Crown Estate Scotland announced that it has selected 13 of the 19 projects that participated in the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms. Known as INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) the project focuses on both supplying renewable electricity directly to oil and gas infrastructure (TOG projects) and small-scale innovative projects (IN)  of 100MW or less. The INTOG process allowed developers to apply for seabed rights to develop offshore wind projects.

INTOG was designed in response to demand from the government that launched the?North Sea Transition Sector Deal with the industry calling for decarbonizing North Sea oil and gas operations. It was designed to also stimulate innovation in Scotland’s offshore wind sector, create additional supply chain opportunities, assist companies to enter the renewable energy market and support net-zero ambitions. 

Colin Palmer, Director of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Today’s results for this very distinctive and targeted leasing round are extremely encouraging. INTOG provides a range of practical ways to support innovation, reduce North Sea carbon emissions, and encourage technical and commercial innovation in the offshore renewables market. There are still significant challenges that need to be addressed to ensure INTOG’s many opportunities are realized fully, but today marks a real step forward.”

Exclusivity Agreements are being offered for five IN and eight TOG projects. The area of the seabed covered by the IN projects is just over 139 km2 and by the TOG projects 1,534 km2. Among the companies selected are industry majors BP Alternative Energy Investments and TotalEnergies, as well as specialized companies including Simply Blue, Bluefloat Energy/Renantis Partnership, ESB Asset Development UK, Flotation Energy, Cerulean Winds, and Harbour Energy.

The successful applicants have now been offered initial agreements that, if they accept the offers and proceed to sign them, enable them to start offshore wind development work while Marine Scotland’s planning process for the INTOG Sectoral Marine Plan is completed. Once the Sectoral Marine Plan has been finalized and option agreements signed (expected 2024), around £262 million ($320 million) in applicant fees will be secured. Projects would then go through planning, consenting, and financing stages.