Scotwind Results Announcement
The much anticipated ScotWind lease round results have been announced by Crown Estate Scotland. Option agreements have been awarded to 17 projects (10 of which will be floating wind farms) totalling almost 25GW of renewable energy.
ScottishPower Renewables were the biggest winners with rights to develop three offshore wind farms, two of which will be developed alongside Shell.
Other winners included bp and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG who secured rights to develop the Morven project in area E1 as well as SSE Renewables, Falck Renewables SpA, Vattenfall, Magnora Offshore Wind, Northland Power Inc.
US Offshore Wind Update
New York Bight Auction
On 12th January 2022, it was announced by the U.S. Department of the Interior that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the New York Bight Wind Auction on 23rd February 2022. The auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six leases. The areas offered in the auction could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes.
This will be the first offshore wind energy auction under the Biden-Harris Administration.
Gulf of Mexico Environmental Assessment
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it is preparing a draft environmental assessment to consider the impacts of potential offshore wind leasing in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The area that will be reviewed in the EA includes almost 30 million acres just west of the Mississippi River to the Texas/Mexican border. This is the same area for which BOEM requested public input when the agency published a Call for Information and Nominations in the Federal Register on Nov. 1, 2021. BOEM will narrow the area based on stakeholder and ocean user input before advancing any Wind Energy Areas, which are offshore locations that appear most suitable for wind energy development.
California Environmental Assessment
On the same day, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the release of its draft Environmental Assessment on the potential impacts from future commercial leasing and related site characterization and assessment activities within the Humboldt Wind Energy Area.
The Humboldt WEA is approximately 206 square miles that, if developed, could bring up to 1.6 GW of clean energy to the grid, enough to power approximately 560,000 homes.
The draft EA considers potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects from issuing offshore wind energy leases and related site characterization and assessment activities within the Humboldt WEA. Site characterization activities include geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological, and biological surveys needed to develop specific project proposals on those leases. Site assessment activities could include the installation and operation of meteorological buoys in support of leases that may be issued.
Porthos Project Update
Porthos has concluded final transport and storage contracts with Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell, marking a major milestone in the realisation of the CCS Project in the Netherlands. With government permit approvals in place, a final investment decision is expected in spring 2022.
Porthos (Port of Rotterdam CO2 Transport HUB and Offshore Storage) aims to store 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually from the industry as of 2024. Porthos will transport collected CO2 using an onshore 30km pipeline to first the Azieweg compressor station and then via a 22km pipeline offshore to the former gas platform P18-A in the North Sea to then be injected via a well into the depleted gas field which has the capacity to store up 37 million tonnes of CO2.
Porthos is a joint venture of EBN B.V., Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Once the project is operational after approximately 2 years of construction the emission reduction in the industry in Rotterdam is estimated to be 10% and due to the importance of the EU achieving climate objectives, the EU has made available a €102 million subsidy.
ENI and Shell make solar acquisitions
Both ENI and Shell have made acquisitions to increase their exposure in the solar power market. Eni, through Eni gas e luce (Plenitude), acquired the Greek company Solar Konzept Greece (SKGR) from Solar Konzept International which is majority-owned by Aquila Capital. SKGR owns a photovoltaic plants’ development platform in Greece. SKGR's portfolio includes a pipeline of projects at various stages of development, totalling around 800 MW.
Shell also acquired 100% of solar development company solar-konzept Italia Srl from Solar Konzept International. The acquisition increases Shell’s solar development pipeline in Italy to approximately 2GW
Iberdrola enters Philippines
Iberdrola continues its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. It has signed an agreement with Stream Invest Holding AG, a Swiss renewable energy group, and Triconti ECC Renewables, the Philippines’ largest independent wind developer, securing an option to enter five offshore wind projects at very early stages of development.
All projects have secured a Wind Energy Service Contract from the Philippines Department of Energy and would be jointly developed by the companies. This alliance opens the opportunity for Iberdrola to enter a new offshore wind market in Asia which has strong growth potential over the coming decades.
BP and Oman target Renewables and Green Hydrogen
bp and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in Oman today signed a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) and a Renewables Data Collection Agreement which will support the potential development of multiple gigawatts, world-class renewable energy and green hydrogen development in Oman, by 2030.
As part of the agreement, bp will capture and evaluate solar and wind data from 8,000km2 of land – an area more than five times the size of Greater London.
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Equinor submits H2H Saltend into UK Government Competition
Equinor has formally submitted plans for its ‘Hydrogen to Humber (H2H) Saltend’ hydrogen production facility into phase two of the Government’s Cluster Sequencing Process, supported by a series of co-operation agreements with prospective regional hydrogen users, which could be a world first and a catalyst for the Humber to achieve net-zero.
H2H Saltend is Equinor’s flagship 600 megawatts low carbon hydrogen production plant with carbon capture, located in Saltend, to the east of Hull. The Humber region is the most carbon-intensive industrial cluster in the UK and H2H Saltend could enable industries at Saltend Chemicals Park and the East Yorkshire area to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly one million tonnes annually, representing a 30% reduction in the Saltend Chemicals Park’s total current emissions.