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Supply chain success is critical for offshore wind

As applicants prepare submissions for Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind programme, the leasing round for offshore wind farms in Scottish waters,
our industry must sharply turn its attention to the formation and delivery of successful supply chain partnerships that will enable us to apply our knowledge of developing wind power whilst taking learnings from the long-established oil and gas operators.

Crown Estate Scotland reviewed the ScotWind option structure in February and March of this year in response to the new market dynamics of the offshore wind sector following the result of The Crown Estate’s auction for sites in waters around England and Wales.

In summary, ScotWind Leasing will retain the same basic pricing structure for option agreements, but the maximum fee that might be paid has increased from £10,000 per km2 of seabed to £100,000 per km2. Furthermore, the threshold of Supply Chain Development Statement commitments that applicants must meet to request a lease has been increased from 10% to 25%. The closing date for applications will be
16th July 2021.

Earlier this year when The Crown Estate announced six newly proposed offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales as part of its Round 4 leasing round for offshore wind, the successful applicants included two joint ventures and a consortium including global oil and gas majors forming strategic partnering with established renewable energy specialist – demonstrating the importance of supply chain relationships for success in offshore wind.

These six projects together represent just under 8 GW of potential new offshore wind capacity, which could deliver electricity for more than seven million homes.

Here in the UK, we live on a densely populated island with windy, shallow, seas surrounding us, and consequently the opportunity to lead the world in the deployment of offshore wind energy is obvious and exciting.

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