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ScottishPower and Shell bid to bring large-scale floating windfarms to UK waters


  • ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to bid to develop the world’s first large-scale floating offshore windfarms in the north-east of Scotland
  • The proposed projects – part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind Leasing – will help decarbonise the UK and support the green economic recovery

The partnership has submitted multiple proposals for new large-scale floating offshore windfarms as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind Leasing, which closed for submissions today (16 July).

Floating windfarm

With decades of experience working offshore, a significant presence in Scotland and strong innovation capabilities derived from delivering large scale energy infrastructure projects, ScottishPower and Shell together provide the right blend of skills and experience to successfully deliver these exciting projects.

Floating offshore wind – a technology that is poised to scale up – is suitable for use in deeper water zones, where fixed foundations aren’t feasible, making it ideal for Scottish waters. It will become an increasingly important part of the energy mix in the UK as more and more offshore wind power is brought on to the grid to meet Net Zero targets.

ScottishPower CEO, Keith Anderson, said: “Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and has the biggest and most experienced offshore sector. Bringing ScottishPower and Shell’s collective knowledge, experience and expertise together means we’re perfectly placed to lead the way in developing large-scale offshore floating windfarms and creating a new green industry with massive potential for exporting our skills and experience globally and helping the UK decarbonise its energy generation.

“With just a few months until the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, ScotWind will help create a whole new industry in floating wind that will play a crucial role in putting the country on course for a cleaner and greener future.”

Shell UK Country Chair, David Bunch said “If our bid is successful, Shell and SPR are fully committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop supply chains and expertise which could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind. At Shell we continue to grow our capacity to generate, trade and supply cleaner power to our customers and to play our part in powering the UK to net zero.”

ScotWind Leasing is the first round of seabed leasing for offshore wind in Scottish waters in over a decade and will grant property rights for new large-scale offshore wind project development, including floating wind for the first time.

Crown Estate Scotland is expected to announce the results of this round of ScotWind Leasing in early 2022.

About the partnership

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) & Shell have signed a joint bidding agreement for the ScotWind Leasing round. The partners have 70 years’ combined experience offshore in Scotland, with over 50 years’ experience offshore in the North Sea. In addition, the partners have over 15 years of combined experience in Floating Offshore Wind. The combined ScottishPower Renewables/Iberdrola and Shell portfolio includes over 2GW of operational offshore wind, over 11GW of offshore wind in development and additionally over 700 MW of floating wind in various stages of development.

SPR & Shell support the goals of the Paris Agreement and the ambitious targets of Scotland and the UK for net zero emissions by 2045 and 2050 respectively.

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR)

ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola, a global energy leader, the number-one producer of wind power. Responsible for progressing Iberdrola’s renewable energy projects in the UK, ScottishPower Renewables also manages the development, construction and operation of offshore windfarms throughout the world and currently has over 40 operational windfarm sites generating over 2.5GW of renewable energy.

This includes the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, Whitelee – which became operational in 2009 – and the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. EA ONE was completed during lockdown 2020 and is one of the largest offshore windfarms in the world, with the capacity to produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes every year.

EA ONE provided £30 million investment for new or improved operations, maintenance and port facilities across the East of England and supported almost 3,500 jobs at the peak of construction as well as 100 long-term skilled jobs at its operations and maintenance base over the lifetime of the project. More than half the project’s supply chain was provided by the UK market, with more than £75 million committed to local suppliers. A dedicated skills outreach programme engaged more than 4,200 young people in East Anglia.

ScottishPower is a Principal Partner for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. It is developing an energy model that will play a significant role towards reaching the UK’s world-leading climate change targets and is investing a total of £10 billion in the clean energy generation and networks infrastructure needed to help the UK decarbonise and reach Net Zero emissions.


Shell has a long history in Scotland and today employs around 1,350 people in the North East of Scotland (as at January 2021). In 2018, Shell’s activity in Scotland created 11,700 full-time equivalent jobs and generated £775 million gross value added to the Scottish economy. Through investing in the local supply chain Shell has also supported more than 3,000 jobs in the Scottish services sector.

Globally, Shell is building an integrated power business that will provide customers with low-carbon and renewable energy solutions. Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions spans trading, generation and supply. We offer integrated energy solutions including hydrogen, solar, wind and electric vehicle charging at scale, while using nature and technology to capture emissions from hard-to-abate sectors of the energy system.

For more information on our Net-zero emissions customer first strategy visit here. With this approach, we want to contribute to achieving a net-zero world, where society stops adding to the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. This supports the most ambitious goal to tackle climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement: to limit the rise in average global warming to 1.5°Celsius.

Today, Shell’s business, in step with society, is changing. As well as continuing to supply oil and gas that the world needs, we are working to offer customers more, lower-carbon products, from renewable electricity to hydrogen.

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