Iberdrola and Shell to bid together for UK's first floating offshore wind projects

The two groups are bidding for multiple proposals to develop these pioneering facilities in the north-east of Scotland
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AFP/PHILIPPE DESMAZES  -   Logo of the Spanish electricity supplier Iberdrola

Iberdrola, through its subsidiary ScottishPower, has teamed up with Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell to bid for the first floating offshore wind projects in the UK, the energy company said.

Specifically, the two groups are bidding for multiple proposals to develop these pioneering facilities in the north-east of Scotland, under the ScotWind Leasing programme launched by Crown State Scotland, for which the deadline for submissions closed on Friday.

ScotWind Leasing is the first offshore funding auction round for wind energy development in Scottish waters in more than a decade and will grant property rights for the development of new large-scale offshore wind projects, including, for the first time, floating wind. Crown State Scotland is expected to announce the results of this new round early next year.

Floating offshore wind, a relatively new and still developing technology, is particularly suited to deeper water areas where it is not possible to install fixed foundations, as is the case in Scottish waters.

ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: "The combined knowledge, experience and know-how of ScottishPower and Shell puts the alliance in an optimal position to lead the development of large-scale offshore floating wind farms, create a new green industry with huge potential to export skills and expertise globally and help the UK decarbonise its power generation."

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PIXABAY - Offshore wind energy

For his part, Shell UK chairman David Bunch said that, if the bid is successful, Shell and ScottishPower "are committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop the supply chains and expertise, which could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind".

Commitment to offshore wind

The energy company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán already operates more than 1,300 MW of offshore wind capacity, distributed in the German Baltic Sea (Wikinger) and in the UK (East Anglia One and West of Duddon Sands). This capacity will be doubled in the coming years with projects in Germany (Baltic Eagle), France (Saint Brieuc) and the US coast of Massachusetts (Vineyard Wind 1).

The expansion of Iberdrola's portfolio of offshore wind projects in the last twelve months -20,000 MW at the end of the first quarter of this year-, reinforced by new growth platforms such as Japan, Poland, Sweden and Ireland, will enable the group to have 12,000 MW of offshore wind in operation by 2030.

Of this portfolio, around half is ready to start construction: Kitty Hawk (North Carolina, 2,500 MW); Zone 522 (Massachusetts, 3,400 MW); East Anglia Hub (North Sea, 3,100 MW) and Windanker (Baltic Sea, 300 MW). The company also has more than 10,000 MW under development in Sweden (3.6 GW), Japan (2.7 GW), Poland (2-3 GW) and Ireland (3 GW).

Iberdrola is also in an optimal position to participate in the auctions and tenders planned in the coming months in its new growth platforms: the United States, which will auction 3,200 MW; the United Kingdom (up to 12,000 MW), Japan (3,000 MW), Germany (900 MW), France (up to 2,250 MW), Denmark (up to 2,200 MW) and Scotland (up to 2,200 MW).