Edinburgh 1 April 2022

Ocean Winds Signs Lease Option for ‘Caledonia’ Windfarm

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“Shallow enough for jackets, close enough for AC – Caledonia is a ‘Goldilocks’ for low-cost power”

Ocean Winds has today signed an Option for Lease with Crown Estate Scotland for the development of a new offshore windfarm in the outer Moray Firth as one 14 sites announced as part of the Crown Estate Scotland ScotWind leasing process in January. 

The Option for Lease provides Ocean Winds with rights to develop offshore wind generation on the ScotWind NE4 site in the Moray Firth.  The site is immediately East of the 950MW Moray East Offshore Windfarm, which Ocean Winds started in 2010, and commenced generation last year.

  • The site, designated NE4 in the Scotwind process has been named ‘Caledonia’.
  • Water Depths: 40-100m
  • Area: 429km2 
  • 22km from Wick

Commenting, Project Director, Mark Baxter said: 

“International conditions are dynamic. In the short time since the Scotwind results were announced on January 17th, global conditions have become increasingly unstable, and energy prices have increased accordingly. This is against a national backdrop of life-expired thermal powerstation closures.  

“Consequently, the need for new, indigenous, low-cost electricity generation has never been more acute.  

“The Caledonia site is one of few locations where the combination of water depths and geology mean that existing substructure technology – jacket foundations, fixed to the seabed – can be deployed.  This technology is not just proven, it is optimised, meaning that it can be deployed quickly, at low cost.   

“In addition, Caledonia is one of the few sites close enough to shore to be connected to the National Grid using conventional AC transmission, thus avoiding the need for the additional offshore infrastructure to convert AC to DC for transmission to land, and the additional onshore infrastructure to convert DC back to AC for the National Grid.  

“Caledonia is therefore in a unique position to provide a high volume of low-carbon electricity quickly, at low risk and at low cost.

“With Moray East now producing power and its sister project, Moray West, ready to commence construction, Ocean Winds has been investing in Scotland since 2010.  The Caledonia site will consolidate our long-term commitment to the Moray Firth and its vital new role as the nation’s secure, indigenous, low-cost electricity supply.

“Where the water is just shallow enough to support fixed-foundation jackets, and the distance from shore is just short enough to support AC instead of DC transmission, yet the wind resource is great enough to deliver a high output, Caledonia is in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ for offshore wind.  It can be built quickly and supply low-carbon power at a very low cost, to keep the wolf from the door in current market conditions.”   

Notes To Editors

  1. About Ocean Winds

OW is a 50-50 offshore wind joint venture, owned and created by EDP Renewables and ENGIE. Both companies believe that offshore wind energy has become an essential part of the global energy transition, leading to rapid growth in the sector and increased competitiveness. That is why they have grouped all their existing and pipeline offshore portfolio into the new company to play a leading role in the offshore market.

OW has 1.5GW in construction and operation, 1GW in secured projects, and 3GW in advanced development – a total of 5.5GW in total gross capacity, including the 950MW Moray East (commenced generation 2021) and Moray West (consented, awaiting a CfD) fixed offshore wind projects in the UK. OW targets to reach 5-7 GW of projects in operation or construction and 5-10 GW under advanced development by 2025. 

OW, headquartered in Madrid, is currently present in 8 countries, primarily targets markets in Europe, the United States and selected parts of Asia, from where most of the growth is expected to come.

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