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BP, Equinor latest big oil groups to bid for offshore Scottish wind projects

Highlights

BP bids for 2.9 GW of offshore wind with EnBW

Equinor bids for floating offshore wind lease

Part of ScotWind offshore leasing round

Oil groups BP and Equinor have each submitted bids to develop offshore wind projects in Scotland, joining Shell in entering the ScotWind tender process for seabed leasing.

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BP and German partner EnBW have bid for a 2.9-GW offshore wind lease in the UK North Sea, BP said in a statement July 19.

The BP-EnBW bid also includes plans to develop renewable hydrogen production in Scotland and accelerate the expansion of the country's electric vehicle charging network.

"We want to harness the clean power from Scotland's offshore wind and use our capabilities as an integrated energy company to accelerate the country's EV charging network, build its hydrogen offering and strengthen its supporting infrastructure, including ports and harbors," BP executive vice president for gas and low carbon Dev Sanyal said.

Also, Norway's Equinor has submitted a bid for a floating offshore wind project, adding to its 30-MW Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm off the northeast coast, it said in a statement.

"Equinor has the experience and capabilities necessary to develop the next full-scale floating offshore wind farm in Scotland following Hywind Scotland," senior vice president for business development in renewables Jens Okland said.

"By leveraging our offshore execution capabilities and our leading position in floating offshore wind, we are ready to create more long-term value and drive the industrialization of floating offshore wind further," Okland said.

The bids are part of Crown Estate Scotland's ScotWind leasing round, the application window for which closed July 16. In all, Scotland is seeking to award leases for up to 10 GW of offshore wind capacity (including floating wind) to be built over the next decade.

The latest bids add to one from Shell and Scottish Power, which jointly bid to develop the world's first large-scale floating offshore wind farms in the northeast of Scotland, the companies said July 16.

BP said it would make Aberdeen its global offshore wind center of excellence to support the company's global portfolio of offshore wind investments. The company has also signed a heads of terms agreement with EnBW and Forth Ports to commit funds to a planned renewables hub at the Port of Leith.

BP and EnBW plan to invest in training for oil and gas workers to move into renewable energy roles, as well as creating new jobs in the energy transition sector.

The two companies formed a joint venture earlier this year to develop and operate two wind-power leases in the Irish Sea that could generate up to 3 GW.

BP and Equinor are also jointly developing 4.4 GW of offshore wind projects in the US.

Equinor has two other UK offshore wind farms at Sheringham Shoal (317 MW) and Dudgeon (402 MW), and is a partner in the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank farm, currently under construction.

The company said it had brought the capex cost per megawatt for floating offshore wind down by 70% between 2009 and 2017, adding it was on course to further reduce costs by over 40% for the 88-MW Hywind Tampen in the Norwegian North Sea, due online in 2022.