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United Kingdom

TotalEnergies and Macquarie plan offshore wind-to-green hydrogen in Scotland

Offshore wind-to-hydrogen option could provide ‘critical alternative route to market’ for large Scottish projects

An artist's impression of what the green hydrogen at Flotta could look like
An artist's impression of what the green hydrogen at Flotta could look like

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A consortium of TotalEnergies, Macquarie’ Green Investment Group (GIG) and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) has submitted plans to use offshore wind to produce green hydrogen at a crude oil terminal in the Orkney Islands.

The Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL) consortium was formed in June to bid in the Crown Estate Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round (ScotWind). 

If successful, the West of Orkney wind project could deliver renewable power to a green hydrogen production facility of undisclosed capacity at the Flotta Terminal in Orkney off the northern coast of mainland Scotland.     

Flotta Terminal’s owner Repsol Sinopec and energy major Uniper are also collaborating on the proposal. It is also supported locally by hydrogen innovation and demonstration centre EMEC Hydrogen.

“We believe that green hydrogen could provide a critical alternative route to market for some of Scotland’s largest offshore wind projects and play a significant role in creating wider economic benefits as the North Sea goes through its energy transition,” said Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe. 

“The production of green hydrogen is a hugely exciting opportunity for both offshore wind and the Scottish supply chain,” said Mike Hay, RIDG commercial director. Cable routing assessments and nearshore geophysical surveys “to better understand the practical aspects of project delivery” have already been completed, he added.

“The repurposing of Flotta will require local stakeholders support, retaining and upskilling the current workforce as well as the creation of long-term skilled jobs during both construction and hydrogen operations,” added José Luis Muñoz, chief executive of Repsol Sinopec.

The ScotWind tender has attracted huge interest. 

Alongside the TotalEnergies, GIG and RIDG partnership, other bidding trios include SSE Renewables, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Marubeni Corporation, Deme Concessions, Aspiravi International and Qair Marine, as well as Ørsted, Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy

Also bidding are pairings of Vattenfall and Fred Olsen Renewables, BP and German utility EnBW, ScottishPower and Shell,  Simply Blue Energy and Subsea 7, Ideol and Aker Solutions, Invenergy and BW Offshore, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind, as well as Eni and Red Rock Power.

RWE and Equinor have also submitted standalone bids.

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

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