Crown Estate Scotland has announced the results of the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms.

Thirteen projects, from businesses including BP, Harbour Energy and TotalEnergies, were successful.

There were 19 applications for the INTOG (innovation and targeted oil and gas) leasing.

The aim was to attract investment in innovative offshore wind projects in Scottish waters, as well as help decarbonise North Sea operations.  

Developers could apply for seabed rights to develop offshore wind projects that either reduce emissions from the North Sea oil and gas sector - by supplying renewable electricity directly to oil and gas infrastructure (TOG), or consist of small-scale innovative projects of 100MW or less (IN). 

Colin Palmer, director of marine at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “The results for this very distinctive and targeted leasing round are extremely encouraging.

Practical ways

“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.

“In addition to delivering economic and environmental benefits, INTOG will generate funds for the Scottish Government - from initial fees when option agreements are signed, to ongoing rent payments when the projects are constructed and move to operation.

“There are still significant challenges that need to be addressed to ensure INTOG’s many opportunities are realised fully, but today marks a real step forward.”

David Whitehouse, chief executive of Offshore Energies UK, said that by the mid-2030s oil and gas will still provide half our energy needs.

He added: "So supplying as much of this demand as possible from domestic production will help to control import emissions while protecting the critical skills and jobs needed for the energy transition.

“It’s therefore essential that the oil and gas we use during that time is produced as sustainably as possible, and electrification will be one of many solutions needed to make that happen.

Big part

“The projects selected in this announcement will play a big part in the transformation of the North Sea - providing low-carbon electricity to power oil and gas installations and helping decarbonise the sector.

“This is a particularly significant milestone as it will not only help the sector achieve the emissions-reduction goals set out in the North Sea Transition Deal, but will also kick-start the floating wind market at scale - positioning the UK as a centre for excellence in low-carbon solutions.”

Michael Matheson, Net Zero & Energy Secretary, added: “This milestone in the INTOG leasing round is the next step in realising another world-leading opportunity for Scotland’s energy transition - helping both decarbonise our existing oil and gas operations while helping our offshore wind sector to expand, innovate and deliver on our ambition to be a renewables powerhouse. 

“The announcement from Crown Estate Scotland not only indicates that the INTOG initiative will provide a significant contribution to the public purse,but ensure the continuing growth and development of Scotland’s offshore expertise and wider supply chain, supporting a true just-transition for our energy sector.”

The 13 successful projects - five for IN and eight for TOG - have now been offered exclusivity agreements.

Applicant fees

Once the sectoral marine plan has been finalised and option agreements signed, around £262million in applicant fees will be secured. And, once projects are operating, further revenues will follow.

All net revenues from Crown Estate Scotland go to the Scottish Government for public spending.

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