Energy Transition

Equinor extends timeline for Norfolk offshore wind farm extensions

Equinor has taken the decision to extend the pre-application period for the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extension Projects (SEP and DEP) to allow time to undertake additional analysis and further develop proposals.

The company had originally planned to submit the Development Consent Order (DCO) application by the end of 2021, but it now intends to make its submission to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) by early summer 2022. SEP and DEP will double the capacity of the existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast, providing renewable energy to power an additional 820,000 UK homes and making an important contribution to the UK's decarbonisation goals.

SEP and DEP are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) which means Equinor will apply for a DCO from the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Equinor and its partners are seeking to minimise potential impacts on the community and the environment by proposing a shared onshore grid connection footprint for the two projects and applying for one common DCO.

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Aker Offshore Wind Unveils Underwater Innovation for Floating Offshore Wind

Aker Offshore Wind has unveiled a new multi-million subsea innovation plan which is to manufacture the first offshore wind underwater substation. This will be part of Aker Offshore Wind's offshore floating bids in the Crown Estate Scotland's ScotWind licensing process with OW Ocean Winds which could deliver up to 6,000MW of energy in the Outer Moray Firth (red box on map).

This would be the biggest wind energy development in the UK. Underwater substations are advantageous for a number of reasons, one of which the seawater can be used as a natural cooling system and this will improve reliability in having a stable temperature and also mean fewer components and no rotating parts.

The operational cost will decrease also with less maintenance and reduced material use. We expect to see more and more offshore floating wind bids in the future. Around 80% of the world's wind resources are in waters deeper than 60 meters and are unsuitable for fixed foundations.

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Invitation to technical dialogue regarding the soft seabed found at the site for Hesselø Offshore Wind Farm

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) and Energinet have invited potential developers to dive into the seabed data and to contribute with their assessment of whether Hesselø OWF is still attractive to establish within the current framework set for the project.

Before the summer, the tender for Hesselø OWF was put on hold as the results of Energinet's preliminary investigations had revealed soft clay formations 20-30 m below the seabed at the site for Hesselø OWF located 30 km. north of Zealand in the Kattegat.

The processing of data from the preliminary investigations has now reached a point where the DEA and Energinet can invite potential developers to a technical dialogue to discuss whether the seabed conditions challenge the establishment of Hesselø OWF within the politically agreed framework e.g. in relation to subsidy scheme, the target capacity of 800-1,200 MW, the planned time of completion, etc.

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OGA grants carbon storage licence to Harbour Energy

The UK looks set to ramp up its carbon capture storage activity after the Oil and Gas Authority has awarded a CO2 appraisal and storage licence "CS005" to Harbour Energy in the Southern North Sea 140km off the coast of the Immingham industrial cluster. The project related is called "V Net Zero" a welcome boost for the drive to reach #netzero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Harbour Energy proposes to reuse the depleted Rotligend gas fields, Viking and Victor to securely store the CO2 in geological formations c.9000ft below the seabed, and potentially utilise the Bunter Formation aquifer for additional storage capacity in the future.

The first injection is targeted for Q4 2026. CO2 is planned to be transported along a newly constructed pipeline from Immingham to Theddlethorpe and from there the CO2 will be transported through reuse of the existing 120km LOGGS pipeline to the Viking fields.

Initial CO2 injection rates are planned to be 3.6 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) which will rise to 11Mtpa by 2030 in line with the Government's 10 Point Plan ambition for CCUS to reach 10Mtpa by 2030.

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Repsol Sinopec partnership to develop large-scale green hydrogen facility in Orkney

A new green hydrogen production study is in the early stages at the Flotta LNG terminal on the island of Flotta in Orkney, Scotland. The study is being carried out by the Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL) consortium which is made up of Macquarie Group's Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG).

Orkney is surrounded by the best wind resource in Europe and the OWPL see an opportunity here and have recently submitted a proposal to Crown Estate Scotland's ScotWind offshore wind licencing round to develop the N1 plan option area west of Orkney. If successful the 2GW "West of Orkney Windfarm" could deliver renewable power to 2 million homes and power a proposed green hydrogen production facility at the Flotta Terminal by 2028.

The project plans to progress into a diversified energy hub and plans to power the proposed Flotta Hydrogen Hub are being developed in partnership with Flotta Terminal's owner Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited and Uniper.

The project is also supported locally by the EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre Hydrogen. For this to go ahead a market for hydrogen is vital for export both nationally and internationally, along with many collaborations in pursuit of this goal

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Secretary Haaland Outlines Ambitious Offshore Wind Leasing Strategy

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has outlined the path forward for future offshore wind leasing to meet the Biden-Harris administration's goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.

During a speech at the American Clean Power's Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition in Boston, Mass., the Secretary announced plans for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to potentially hold up to in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Central Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore the Carolinas, California, and Oregon.

BOEM is working on refining its process for identifying additional Wind Energy Areas (areas that may be suitable for offshore wind energy leasing). More specifically, BOEM is developing clear goals, objectives, and guidelines that can be shared with government agencies, Tribes, industry, ocean users, and others prior to identifying such areas.

In addition, BOEM will use the best available science as well as knowledge from ocean users and other stakeholders to minimize conflict with existing uses and marine life.
In addition to identifying new offshore wind lease sales, BOEM is considering innovative lease stipulations consistent with the goals and objectives of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, such as lessee reporting requirements on efforts to minimize conflicts with other ocean users; mechanisms for project labor agreements; and investments in the U.S. domestic supply chain.

Such stipulations were included in the New York Bight Proposed Sale Notice in June of this year. The Biden-Harris administration has made significant progress to spur responsible offshore wind development, which is driving the establishment of a robust domestic supply chain and the creation of resilient clean energy that will combat climate change and create good-paying jobs.

BOEM completed its review of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the Vineyard Wind project earlier this year and is currently reviewing nine additional COPs with plans to complete the review of at least another six by 2025, for a total of at least 16 COP reviews representing more than 19 GW of clean energy.

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BOEM Proposed Leasing Schedule

Image from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 2021, (

Maersk Drilling named preferred contractor for the Greensand Danish offshore carbon storage project

In extension of its commitment to participating in Phase 2 of the Greensand offshore carbon storage project, Maersk Drilling has entered a framework agreement with the Nini Joint Venture, operated by INEOS Oil & Gas Denmark and Wintershall Dea, covering the supply of drilling rigs for the project offshore Denmark. The agreement confirms Maersk Drilling as the preferred contractor with a right to all drilling rig work involved in Project Greensand on market-rate terms until the end of 2027. The agreement is subject to the project obtaining the necessary funding and final investment decision.

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Scotland: TotalEnergies and ScotWind Partners Commit to Local Industrial Development

TotalEnergies has opened, the company's UK Offshore Wind Hub in Aberdeen. The Hub will be part of the Company's existing offshore operations centre in Aberdeen.

The Hub will enable the transition of staff from oil and gas to offshore wind as that part of the Company's UK business grows. It will thus leverage the offshore expertise that TotalEnergies' Aberdeen operations have built over the last 50 years.

The announcement comes as TotalEnergies, in partnership with Macquarie's Green Investment Group and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG), taking part in the ScotWind leasing round having proposed a 2 GW offshore wind project called "West of Orkney Windfarm".

The partners unveiled plans for a £140 million initiative in a comprehensive action plan to develop the Scottish supply chain and harbour infrastructure specifically around this project.

Should the West of Orkney Windfarm be selected, the investment would be allocated across a range of initiatives, including Direct support for supplier development and the enhancement of ports and harbour infrastructure in Orkney, Caithness, and more generally in Scotland.

A Supply Chain and Infrastructure Investment Fund to enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of key suppliers. A targeted local skills development programme This investment will be made during the initial phase of development before the final investment decision is taken.

It will be funded by £105m of direct commitments from the partners supplemented up to £140m by a matched funding from third parties raised by the partners.

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Lightsource bp joins Poland's accelerated energy transition with 757MW deal

Lightsource bp has secured its first projects in Poland through a 757MWp co-development deal.

This agreement demonstrates the shifts in Poland's dynamic power market as the country accelerates towards renewable energy sources and away from coal. The total CAPEX to bring the entire pipeline to fruition could reach €500 million.

Lightsource bp has closely vetted the portfolio, providing valuable insight into the potential of the projects and the Polish solar market. Around half the projects could be ready for construction in 2022.

Lightsource bp plans to sell some power on the open market and is actively seeking large corporations to contract via long-term power purchase agreements. These projects will also participate in future rounds of Poland's renewable energy auctions

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UK Government selects first two CCS projects to progress in tract 1

In the UK, the government has confirmed that the East Coast and HyNet North West carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects have been selected to progress forward as part of Track-1.

In doing so, these projects will be eligible for a £1 billion investment from the UK government CCS Infrastructure Fund. This comes as part of the Prime Ministers (Boris Johnson) 10 Point Plan to establish and deploy CCUS in a minimum of two industrial clusters by the mid-2020s and four clusters by 2030 latest as the UK works towards #netzero by 2050.

The announcement also meant disappointment for a number of other projects including the Neptune Energy led DelpHYnus project, Harbour Energy led V Net Zero Cluster the Scottish Cluster The Acorn Project which is currently deemed a reserve if a backup is needed. These projects are now likely to move into Track-2.

The HyNet North West hydrogen and CCS project is being developed by a consortium of companies Progressive Energy Ltd, Cadent Gas Limited, CF Fertilisers UK Ltd, Eni UK, Essar Oil (UK) Limited, Hanson UK, INOVYN (part of the INEOS Group) and the University of Chester.

The East Coast Cluster consists of two projects NetZero Teeside (being developed by a consortium consisting of bp, Kellas Midstream, NZT Power Station, SUEZ, TV ERF, 8 Rivers Capital BOC South Pacific Linde) and Zero Carbon Humber (being developed by a consortium of Equinor, Uniper, SSE Thermal, Drax Group, Triton Power, Mitsubishi Power and Velocys).

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