Two oil companies awarded offshore wind projects in UK

offshore wind projects, wind
© Jonathan Weiss

Two major oil companies, bp and Total, are among the six new offshore wind projects that will build renewable energy stations in the waters surrounding the UK

The Offshore Wind Leasing project is proceeding into Round 4, meaning that 7GW of offshore wind projects are up for grabs to investors. Theoretically, this could power more than six million homes in the UK.

This is the first auction of seabed development since 2010.

Offshore wind licences auctions by the Crown Estate have seen bp agree to pay £924 million for two sites in the Irish sea, with French oil company Total also making a large bid for the licence.

Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind energy, with the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan laying out a bold ambition to produce enough offshore wind to power every home in the UK.”

All leases are expected to be confirmed and implemented for Spring 2022, while being secured by companies at this stage.

‘One of the world’s best offshore wind markets’

Chief executive of bp, Bernard Looney said: “Success in this round marks bp’s entry into one of the world’s best offshore wind markets. This is both important progress towards bp’s transformation into an integrated energy company as well as a significant next step in our long history in the UK.”

The oil giant, bp, is working with a German partner company, Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG (EnBW), to push their renewable energy development. The two leases bought are thought to be in prime locations, with “strong wind resources and proximity to shore” that will make for a promising future of energy generation. Both sites are off the coast of North West England and North Wales, at a shallow depth of roughly 35 metres.

Frank Mastiaux, chief executive of EnBW, further commented: “We are delighted with this auction win in a tough international bidder field. The award confirms that bp and EnBW are the right partners with the right strategy and the right capabilities. EnBW is among today’s leaders in advanced offshore wind technology.”

‘Our largest renewables development in Europe’

The second oil company, Total, is working with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) to pay their lease of the newly acquired seabed around the UK.

Unlike bp, Total are already experienced in offshore wind – this move will be a second step on enacting promises made about renewable energy in the past.

GIG have supported just under 50% of existing UK offshore wind operations, while Total are already involved in the 1.1 GW Seagreen project near the Scottish coast, while working on a 96 MW floating offshore wind project in the Celtic Sea.

Julien Pouget, Senior Vice President Renewables at Total, commented: “Total is delighted to have been awarded 1.5 GW as part of the 4th Round of offshore wind leases from The Crown Estate with our partner GIG. We continue to support the energy transition goals of the UK. This project is our largest renewables development in Europe to date and an important step toward our 2050 net zero ambition.”

Mark Dooley, Global Head of Green Investment Group, said: “Building on our track record as one of the country’s largest funders of offshore wind, this represents a significant increase in our commitment to the UK’s offshore wind sector. This adds to our growing portfolio of renewable developments in Europe and grows our global offshore wind development portfolio to over 13 GW.”


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