UK secures £700 million in renewables rights sale

BP and Shell were among the winners of seabed rights to develop Scottish offshore wind projects, in an auction which raised nearly £700 million.

Crown Estate Scotland, which manages the Scottish seabed, said proceeds from the first such leasing deal in around a decade will go to the devolved Scottish government.

The 17 winning Scottish projects will produce nearly 25 gigawatts (GW) in the next decade, helping to provide low-carbon power in line with a UK-wide goal to cut emissions to net zero by mid-century.

A gigawatt equates to roughly two coal-fired power plants and is enough to power 750,000 homes in the UK, where the overall power demand can be between 20-47GW per day, depending on the season.

Around 35% of the country’s electricity generation is already generated from renewables.

Power generated in Scotland is brought ashore on the Scottish coast via underwater cables and connected to the national electricity grid.

Crown Estate Scotland said there were 74 applications from developers seeking to build projects across 15 areas of seabed and option agreements have been made to companies including BP, SSE, Shell New Energies, Iberdrola’s Scottish Power, TotalEnergies and Vattenfall.

The biggest winner was Scottish Power Renewables, which has the go-ahead for projects totalling 7GW. They include a joint venture with Shell to develop the world’s first large-scale floating wind farms at two sites with total capacity of 5GW.

The projects include six fixed offshore wind, 10 for floating wind and one mixed.

Crown Estate Scotland said it only grants full seabed leases when developers have all the necessary consents and planning permissions from the Scottish government and other bodies.

Should any application not progress to signing a full agreement, the next highest scoring application will instead be offered an option.

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