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Significant boost for UK floating wind as flagship project Green Volt achieves offshore consent

Significant boost for UK floating wind as flagship project Green Volt achieves offshore consent

 

22 April 2024 Leading offshore wind developers Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn, a joint venture between Plenitude (Eni) and HitecVision, have announced that their pioneering floating offshore wind project, Green Volt, has been granted offshore planning approval.

With onshore consent announced earlier this month, Green Volt has now received all its planning approvals and remains on track to be the first commercial-scale floating offshore windfarm in Europe.

When completed, Green Volt will include up to 35 floating wind turbines, providing up to 560 MW of renewable energy capacity. As part of Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round, the project will deliver renewable electricity to oil and gas platforms, replacing existing natural gas and diesel power generation. Green Volt will also provide electricity to the UK grid.

Green Volt will reduce carbon emissions by 1m tonnes per annum.

Green Volt is 50% owned by Flotation Energy and 50% by Vårgrønn.

 First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf said:

“It is great news that we have consented the first project in the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round – this is a significant milestone which will help secure Scotland’s place at the forefront of floating wind technology.

“Scotland is one of the best places in the world to develop offshore wind and its supply chain and we are determined to maximise the huge economic opportunity offshore wind can bring.

“We have already underlined our commitment to making Scotland a global leader in offshore wind by committing to invest up to £500m over 5 years to catalyse private investment in the infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of the sector.

“Investor confidence in Scotland’s renewable sector is growing as illustrated by significant investments in ScotWind leasing rounds and in the ports and supply chain infrastructure facilities that will enable the sector to develop. 

“We have a strong record in delivering robust consents, ensuring the right projects are built in the right place at the right time. Ahead of the Allocation Round 6 (AR6) application window closing, the relevant consents and marine licences were issued for two floating offshore wind projects as well as one wave and three tidal energy projects, allowing all of them to go forward.”

Nicol Stephen, CEO at Flotation Energy, said:

“It is fantastic to have received the green light to deliver the world’s biggest floating offshore wind project, right here in the Scottish North Sea. This major milestone places Flotation Energy and our Joint Venture Partner, Vårgrønn, firmly at the heart of the energy transition.

“Gaining consent just over a year after our seabed exclusivity was awarded is a testament to the commitment, speed and determination of our Green Volt team, the Scottish Government and its key agencies.

“Green Volt is of international significance, placing Scotland at the leading edge of a new floating wind sector. This multi-billion pound development can now move forward confidently, creating hundreds of local jobs and proving that the UK and Scottish supply chain is ready to deliver commercial scale floating projects, at pace.

“Flotation Energy is headquartered in Scotland with its roots firmly in Aberdeen and the North East. We are already drawing on the world class energy skills and experience of the region - and now look forward to doing far more.”

Olav Hetland, CEO at Vårgrønn, said:

“With Green Volt being Europe’s first commercial-scale floating wind project, achieving offshore consent for the project marks an important moment for the whole offshore wind industry. At 560 MW, Green Volt serves as an essential stepping stone from current small-scale projects to gigawatt-size developments, supporting the supply chain in scaling up new technology.

“Floating wind is set to be a huge global market in the decades to come. By being a frontrunner, Scotland is now positioned to be home to world-leading expertise and a whole industry of new jobs. Green Volt will deploy pioneering technology at an unprecedented scale, advancing what is possible in renewable energy.”

Sir Ian Wood, Chair of ETZ Ltd, said:

“The awarding of consent for the Green Volt INTOG project is a massive boost for Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in floating offshore wind. This decision will unlock around £3 billion of investment, generate hundreds of jobs and will effectively result in Europe’s first commercial scale floating wind development. Crucially, it also sends a huge signal to domestic and international investors that Scotland is indeed a pioneer in this technology and the ideal location to manufacture and deliver floating wind developments.

“I pay tribute to the Scottish Government and its agencies for taking this welcome decision which follows the opening of the world’s first Floating Wind Innovation Centre in Aberdeen by the First Minister last month. With one of the largest concentrations of subsea engineering capabilities anywhere in the world and the largest cluster of energy supply chain companies anywhere in the UK, there truly is no better location than the North East of Scotland to invest in low carbon technologies.”

As part of the North Sea Transition Deal, oil and gas operators have agreed to deliver 50% reduction in offshore greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. A new emission reduction plan published by North Sea Transition Authority in March 2024 places electrification of offshore platforms at the centre of emissions reductions.

As Green Volt moves forward with its development, the project remains committed to engaging with on and offshore stakeholders, upholding rigorous environmental stewardship practices.

For more information about the Green Volt project, visit www.greenvoltoffshorewind.com.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 22-04-2024

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