BP joined the race for the latest round of Dutch offshore wind leases as it submitted twin bids for the 1.4GW Hollandse Kust West (HKW) auction that include plans to link with 500MW of green hydrogen electrolysers as part of a €2bn ($2.1bn) 'integrated clean energy' pitch.
The oil supermajor – which already has offshore wind projects underway in the UK and US – said the bids form part of “transformational plans for a series of further integrated clean energy investments by BP in the Netherlands”.
The HKW West zero-subsidy round offers the chance to grab two zones in a process that places heavy emphasis on ecological innovation and integration with the wider Dutch energy system.
BP’s bid includes linking with 500MW of electrolysis to produce around 50,000 tonnes a year of green hydrogen for its Rotterdam refinery and to “support 10,000 barrels a day production of sustainable aviation fuel”.
The scale of electrolysis referred to is a step-up from the 250MW electrolyser plan BP has previously flagged for Rotterdam and matches the envisaged scale it has already declared for northeast England, taking its place among the most ambitious proposals in European green H2.
Plans for Rotterdam if successful also include “a new electric powered boiler and super heater for BP's refinery, and utility scale battery to support the integration of the assets”.
Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said: “We will apply BP’s integrated energy company strategy to integrate green energy supply and demand across the energy system.
“This includes using offshore wind power to electrify industry and mobility. And also using renewable power to produce green hydrogen, to help to decarbonise hard-to-electrify sectors such as aviation, refining and heavy-duty mobility.”
BP said it would also spend €75m ($78m) to support the marine environment with “an unprecedented scale of innovation” if successful.
Big-hitters in contention
The HKW round has already attracted confirmed entries from BP’s fellow supermajor Shell in conjunction with Eneco, as well as big power sector players such as Vattenfall and SSE.
Entries for the auction close today (Thursday) and the winner is expected to be announced after the summer.
As well as the qualitative criteria, the HKW round includes a pioneering and controversial element of negative bids of up to €50m ($53m) per zone – meaning developers can end up paying for the right to build and operate the projects.
That aspect was criticised by Martin Neubert, chief commercial officer (CCO) at Orsted, during the recent WindEurope 2022 conference in Bilbao, where he said negative bidding and seabed lease auctions cost companies money that they need to ramp up the offshore wind supply chain.
Hollandse Kust West forms part of an ambitious drive to roughly double the Netherlands’ offshore wind capacity to 21GW by 2030.