Government told to fast track floating wind and hydrogen scheme


The UK and Scottish governments have been told to make an “exceptional case” for a £10bn floating wind and hydrogen scheme that its developers assure would deliver an “extraordinary outcome” for both the economy and the environment.

On 1 June, Cerulean Winds unveiled its plans to accelerate decarbonisation of oil and gas assets through an integrated 200-turbine floating wind and hydrogen development. It will have the potential to abate up to 20mn tonnes of CO2 through simultaneous North Sea projects West of Shetland and in the Central North Sea, as well as safeguarding as many as 160,000 current oil and gas jobs and creating 200,000 new ones in the floating wind and hydrogen sectors over the next five years.

The proposed development specifically includes over 200 of the largest floating turbines at sites in the West of Shetland and the Central North Sea with 3GWh of capacity, feeding power to offshore facilities and excess 1.5GWh power to onshore green hydrogen plants.

It also involves the ability to electrify the majority of current UKCS assets, along with future production potential from 2024 to reduce emissions “well ahead” of abatement targets; 100% availability of green power to offshore platforms at a price that is below current gas turbine generation through a self-sustained scheme with no upfront cost to operators; the development of green hydrogen at scale and £1bn hydrogen export potential; and it will have no need for subsidies or CfD requirements, while providing hundreds of millions in revenue through leases and taxation to 2030.

Cerulean has undertaken necessary infrastructure planning for the scheme, ensuring it has the required level of project readiness, with financial close targeted for Q1 2022. Construction would follow shortly after, ahead of energisation in 2024.  A formal request for seabed leases has been submitted to Marine Scotland.