With the Crown Estate’s recent announcement of Offshore Wind Leasing Round Four, there is a fantastic opportunity for offshore wind developers to get involved in the first leasing round of its type in over ten years. Four new zones will be available off the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
At least seven gigawatts of power are expected to be produced as part of this round, which could supply electricity for up to six million homes. The scale of this leasing round is expected to spark renewed interest in the UK’s offshore wind market, which is already the largest offshore wind market in the world.
In Scotland, the ScotWind leasing round is open for applications until April 2020. This is another significant opportunity for offshore developers who wish to get involved in offshore wind in Scottish waters.
From a Scottish perspective, we are leading the world in the development of floating offshore wind farms. The Hywind development, which was installed in 2017 off the coast of Peterhead, was the world’s first floating wind turbine with a capacity of 30MW.
Continued innovation will see Hywind’s total capacity topped by a new floating offshore windfarm that is currently under construction. The Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm, 15 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeen, is set to power up to 50MW.
Floating wind technology is also being integrated within offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea in Norway. Equinor’s Hywind Tampen project will supply renewable power to offshore oil and gas installations through floating offshore windfarms. This will be another world first for the technology.
With Aberdeen and surrounding areas being at the centre of the floating wind revolution, Renewable UK is once again hosting two major renewable energy conferences in the city.
In partnership with Subsea UK, RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are bringing the Cables Conference to P&J Live on October 29-30. Subsea cables are becoming increasingly important within the development of renewables, providing the infrastructure to ensure successful export and transmission of power. The conference will be an industry-led event designed to solve real industry problems.
The following day (October 31), the 2019 Floating Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition will also take place at P&J Live. The event is the UK’s largest floating offshore wind conference and exhibition which will explore global market opportunities for both developers and supply chain. It is worth noting that AREG members are entitled to a 20% discount for both events.
Business opportunities within floating technology will be substantial and those who are currently exploring the market will see first mover advantage, as we are very much at the early stages of a fast-moving sector in development. The floating offshore wind conference will provide a platform to discuss challenges presented by new technology with key players in floating offshore wind.
As the world races to decarbonise, renewables-focused events are becoming increasingly important in the business development calendar. At AREG, we continue to provide events of real value for our members. As part of the World Energy Cities Partnership AGM, we recently hosted a ferry visit to the Vattenfall European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). The event was very well received, with delegates from major worldwide energy cities in attendance.
I am certain that the upcoming events will provide excellent opportunities for delegates in a sector which continues to attract global investment. We look forward to engaging with the supply chain and supporting our members with the leasing round applications. Hope to see you there.
Jean Morrison, Chair of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG)
Image credit – Øyvind Gravås – Woldcam & Equinor- Hywind Scotland