BP plans to bid in the upcoming ScotWind leasing round for new offshore wind development acreage off Scotland as it adds to its burgeoning ambitions in the sector, the oil supermajor’s CEO said.
A successful bid in ScotWind would add to BP’s offshore wind arsenal, which currently comprises a share of major projects being built off New York and leases for potential development off northwest England.
Bernard Looney told The Times: “We’re looking at ScotWind, we are looking elsewhere in the world as well.”
A BP spokesperson confirmed that Looney’s comments were accurate, but did not disclose any further details, or whether a bid would be in conjunction with EnBW, the German utility that was its partner in the successful UK Round 4 lease process, which saw the two named preferred bidders for 3GW across two areas in the Irish Sea.
However, Looney has previously hailed EnBW as “an experienced partner” in offshore wind and a further link-up between the two would come as little surprise.
BP is piling on assets in offshore wind and solar as it chases a 50GW net renewables capacity goal for 2030 that is among the most ambitious of any oil & gas group.
The supermajor's top executives last week mounted a robust defence of its green power strategy following suggestions that it could struggle to achieve adequate returns and was overpaying to secure a position in offshore wind.
ScotWind is among the first major offshore wind tenders globally to include seabed suitable for both floating and fixed-bottom developments, and is designed to open the way for the advancement of 10GW of capacity off Scotland. Applications to take part in the round close mid-July.
The process was delayed by seabed landlord The Crown Estate Scotland earlier this year for a review following the uproar around ‘option fees’ paid by developers – not least BP and EnBW – in the parallel Round 4 leasing process run by The Crown Estate for new acreage off England and Wales.
Global offshore wind leader Orsted last week confirmed it would for the first time embrace floating wind via a ScotWind bid of its own.