Iberdrola, through its subsidiary Scottish Power, has partnered with the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell to bid for the first floating offshore wind projects in the United Kingdom. Specifically, they will bid on several proposals to develop these pioneering facilities in the northeast of Scotland, as advanced Five days, inside the program ScotWind Leasing convened by the Scottish Government, whose submission period has closed this Friday.
ScotWind Leasing is the first round of seabed auction for wind power development in Scottish waters in over a decade and will grant property rights for the development of new large-scale offshore wind projects, including, for the first time, floating wind. The authorities are expected to announce the results of this new round early next year.
Floating offshore wind, a relatively new and still developing technology, is particularly well suited to deeper water areas, where it is not possible to install fixed foundations, as is the case in Scottish waters. The CEO of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, has assured in a statement that “the union of the knowledge, experience and know-how of Scottish Power and Shell places the alliance in an optimal position to lead the development of floating wind farms in high seas on a large scale, create a new green industry with enormous potential to export skills and experience globally and help the UK decarbonize its power generation.
For his part, Shell UK Chairman David Bunch said that if the bid is successful, his company and Scottish Power “are committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop the supply chains and expertise that they could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind energy. “
The energy company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán already operates more than 1,300 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind, distributed in the German Baltic Sea (at the Wikinger plant) and in two projects in the United Kingdom (East Anglia One and West of Duddon Sands). This capacity will double in the coming years with the projects it develops in Germany (Baltic Eagle), France (Saint Brieuc) and the North American coast of Massachusetts (Vineyard Wind 1).
The expansion of Iberdrola’s portfolio of offshore wind projects (20,000 MW at the end of the first quarter of this year), reinforced by new growth platforms in Japan, Poland, Sweden and Ireland, will allow the group to have 12,000 MW offshore wind in operation in 2030. Of this portfolio, about half is ready to begin construction.