bp & EnBW make £10 bn Joint Bid for Scottish Offshore Wind Projects

Oil giant bp and Germany-based EnBW have submitted a joint bid, representing a a potential £10 billion investment, for Scottish offshore wind acreage which could support wind projects with 2.9 GW of capacity.

The companies have applied for a lease area off the east coast of Scotland for the development of the project. But the bid seeks to go far beyond developing wind power and aims to accelerate the country’s entire energy transition – from producing clean power to using it in new industries, says the consortium.

Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind wind leasing tender is the first tender to be released in the last ten years. It aims to support the development of around 10 GW of offshore capacity.

According to media reports, the bid focused on fixed-bottom wind turbines rather than floating turbines which other companies bid for. Dev Sanyal, bp’s head of for gas and low carbon, has said that the company wishes to accelerate the country’s EV charging network and build its hydrogen offering, among other aims.

Unlike fixed-bottom technology, floating offshore wind technology is still in early stages of deployment around the world and significantly more expensive. Under this technology, instead of putting a wind turbine on a fixed foundation in the sea, it is attach it to a structure that floats in the water. The structure is tethered to the seabed to stop it from drifting off into a beach or shipping lane.

The rules of the Scottish tender dictate that the amount of money companies are expected to pay for the seabed lease is capped, unlike an auction round held earlier this year for seabed leases around the coast of England and Wales which attracted record prices.

The bp-EnBW bid is said to represent a potential 10 billion pound ($14 billion) investment into Scottish offshore wind projects and support infrastructure including ports, harbours and shipyards.

bp and EnBW formed a 50-50 joint venture this year to develop and operate two offshore wind leases in the Irish Sea.

Additionally, bp, EnBW and Forth Ports have already signed a Heads of Terms agreement with a financial commitment that will supplement Forth Ports’ £40million investment in their planned Renewables Hub at the Port of Leith.

The results of the ScotWind leasing round are expected to be announced early next year. bp and EnBW face competition from companies such as Equinor, Orsted, Royal Dutch Shell, RWE, TotalEnergies and Macquarie Group’s Green Investment Group.

In readiness for a successful award, and to engage the local supply chain, bp and EnBW have launched a bespoke online portal for the Scottish engineering and supply sector to take part in the developments. Companies based in Scotland, with significant operations in Scotland, or that have plans to relocate their base or operations to Scotland are encouraged to register their interest for future opportunities.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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