In the UK, wind power is the focus and promotion of decarbonization efforts. For the past few days, information on the oil major bp and the Scottish wind power business has been reported. (Photo taken from ScotWind's official website)


According to the bp news release, bp has formed an exclusive consultancy agreement with Quaybridge, a leading UK-based renewables consultancy with global expertise in offshore wind.  The two will work together to advance bp’s global offshore wind portfolio as part of its zero-carbon growth strategy, and accelerate the building of in-house offshore wind knowledge for bp. 


As part of the new agreement, members of the Quaybridge team will work closely with bp’s Renewables Growth business development team. Quaybridge worked with the bp and EnBW teams and successfully won ‘preferred bidder’ status for the Mona and Morgan Irish Sea leases in the recent UK Round 4 leasing round. 


The bp/EnBW consortium and Quaybridge are participating independently in the ongoing ScotWind leasing round, which will not be in the scope of the consultancy agreement between bp and Quaybridge.


Quaybridge was formed by renewables consultancy Everoze in 2018, drawing many years of offshore wind development expertise together into an agile multi-disciplinary team, spanning technical and consenting specialisms. Quaybridge’s services for bp will be global in nature.


Last year, bp formed a partnership with Equinor to develop offshore wind projects in the US, including acquiring a 50% stake in projects with a planned potential 4.4GW gross generating capacity. With partner EnBW, it was named preferred bidder for two Irish sea leases in UK Round 4, with a total gross generating capacity of 3GW. Onshore in the US, bp has a gross generating capacity of 1.7GW, operating nine wind assets across the country. bp is currently bidding with partners to develop offshore wind off the coasts of Scotland and Norway.


Rapidly growing its renewables business is core to bp’s strategy – by 2030 bp aims to have developed around 50GW of net renewable generating capacity, up from 3.3GW in 2020. The strategy also includes plans to increase bp’s annual low carbon investment 10-fold, to around $5 billion a year, and also reducing oil and gas production by around 40% from 2019 to 2030.


On the other hand, in Scotland, ScotWind is accelerating its entry into the offshore wind sector.Launched in June 2020, Scotwind Leasing has the potential to deliver enough green electricity to power every home in Scotland and help the country take a major stride towards net zero. It is also set to deliver major investment into Scotland’s economy.


Crown Estate Scotland confirmed that 74 applications have been received from developers looking for the rights to build projects across the 15 areas of seabed available for development through the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.


Also confirmed recently is the timeline for next steps. This includes a target of making initial offers for the first option agreements to successful applicants in January 2022, with those agreements then finalised following that.


Developers will then move forward with their detailed plans and start work on various types of activities that can progress their projects. Crown Estate Scotland grants full seabed leases only once developers have all the necessary consents and planning permissions from the Scottish Government and other bodies.


Crown Estate Scotland has now begun assessing each application against the criteria laid out to applicants.


Option fees will then be paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed. The maximum amount payable will be £100,000 per km2 of seabed.


Revenue profit from the leasing will be returned to the Scottish Government for public spending to drive the green recovery and other Scottish Government priorities.



Jiro Arihara

Global Commodity Watcher based in Tokyo