Orsted becomes majority owner of 100MW Salamander floating wind project

Orsted ramps up floating wind activity, acquiring an 80% stake in Simply Blue and Subsea 7 joint venture in Scotland

Orsted has acquired a majority stake in the 100MW Salamander floating project
Orsted has acquired a majority stake in the 100MW Salamander floating project

Global offshore wind developer Orsted has acquired an 80% stake in the 100MW Salamander Salamander (100MW) Offshoreoff Peterhead, Scotland, UK, Europe Click to see full details floating offshore wind project on the Scottish coast.

It has become the majority shareholder, for an undisclosed sum, in a joint venture with Ireland's Simply Blue Group and a minority shareholder in Subsea 7. The news comes a day after both Orsted and Simply Blue announced separate joint venture plans for floating wind in Spain.

Originally planned to be up to 200MW in capacity, Salamander will be progressed through the innovation track of Crown Estate Scotland's upcoming Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round, expected in June this year. 

INTOG will grant leases through an auction process, split into two pots – one for smaller scale innovation projects, if less than 100MW, and one for larger projects linked to oil and gas infrastructure. Exclusivity agreements for successful projects are due to be awarded in autumn 2022, with option agreements to be signed a year later. If successful, the aim is for Salamander to be online in 2028.

Established by Simply Blue, the Salamander project is designed to be a "stepping stone" for floating wind technology, "providing an opportunity for supply chain businesses to gear up for commercial scale floating wind opportunities and help the technology become cost competitive as early as possible", Orsted said.

Last year, Simply Blue and Subsea 7 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with sustainability consultancy ERM for potential use of its Dolphyn hydrogen technology at the Salamander project. The technology combines electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform, with the hydrogen to be transported to shore via a pipeline. An MOU has also been signed with Ocergy for possible use of its low-weight floating platform foundation technology.

Orsted's group deputy CEO and chief commercial officer, Martin Neubert, said the project "will provide a lot of learnings that we can apply on Scotwind and other floating wind projects as the technology transitions from demo projects to utility scale". He added: "Orsted has been driving the commercialisation of bottom-fixed offshore wind for 30 years, and during the next decade we want to help make floating offshore wind similarly successful through projects such as this one."

Spanish deals

For the Spanish market, Orsted announced plans to set up a joint venture with Madrid-based multi-energy company Repsol to explore floating wind opportunities in Spain. The joint venture does not have any specific targets for the market, or a specific project or timeline in mind, a spokesman for Orsted told Windpower Monthly. The spokesman added: "We’re waiting for Spain to announce the framework conditions for floating wind, which we expect them to do before the end of 2022, and then we’ll have to see when they will announce actual tenders."

Simply Blue also announced a joint venture with Spanish companies Proes Consultores and FF New Energy Venture (FF NEV). "The Spanish marine energy roadmap highlighted supply chain development as a key area of opportunity for Spain and the potential growth of local jobs and within this consortium we are focusing on this topic since the early stages,” said Adrian De Andres, director market development at Simply Blue Group.

As well as the Spanish floating wind market, Simply Blue's joint venture will explore opportunities in Portugal, it said. Under their memorandum of understanding, Simply Blue Group, Proes Consultores, and FF NEV will explore more than 2GW of floating wind opportunities across Spain and Portugal.

Under Spain's draft Marine Spatial Plan and Marine Energy Roadmap 2021, the country is aiming for 3GW of floating wind by 2030.

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