Crown Estate Scotland has opened rental areas for three more candidates from the giant ScotWind rental cycle completed earlier this year. The “clearance” process awards floating wind mooring leases to three applicants who did not receive the areas they bid on in the original auction.
The leased areas are located east of the Shetland Islands and total approximately 2.8 gigawatts globally. They will bring in a total of about $65 million in Crown Domain option costs, as well as local investment commitments of about $1.4 billion per gigawatt of capacity. Notably, all three would focus on producing green hydrogen rather than supplying it to the grid.
“These projects have significant potential to really drive Scotland’s progress towards its net zero targets, including around the opportunity around green hydrogen,” said Colin Palmer, director of marine at Crown. Estate Scotland. “Taking these three into account, the 20 ScotWind projects now total up to 27.6 gigawatts.”
ScotWind was the largest offshore wind lease auction ever, and it continues to grow with offset leases. As Scotland already gets almost all of its electricity from renewables, some of the electricity will go towards making green hydrogen, accelerating the UK’s energy independence. It is also a key part of Scotland’s plan to shift the economy of its northeast coast from its longstanding focus on offshore oil and gas to a new offshore wind industry.
“The importance of accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources, including hydrogen, has been underscored by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the cost of living crisis,” Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a statement. “The Scottish Government sees offshore wind – and the production of hydrogen which we hope will be made possible by offshore wind – as one of the most significant economic and environmental opportunities we have.”
All projects awarded under the ScotWind cycle are always subject to permit reviews, funding and a final investment decision before steel is launched.