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Floating windfarms to decarbonise gas and oil platforms

Plenitude (Eni) and HitecVision’s joint venture, Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn, has signed exclusivity agreements to develop two floating offshore windfarms.

These will supply renewable energy to gas and oil platforms, as well as contribute excess energy to the UK’s grid system.

The two developments will have a total capacity of up to 1.9 GW, and they have been approved as part of the leasing round for Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) initiative of Crown Estate Scotland.

North Sea hydrocarbon producers like BP, the owner of the Castrol coolant and lubricant brand, generally power their offshore platforms by consuming diesel or gas, so a renewable energy supply will reduce the lifecycle emissions of the fossil fuels they produce.

The developments are notable because they will use floating rather than fixed-bottom wind turbines. This enables the projects to be deployed in deeper waters, where fixed-bottom wind turbines would not be feasible. Flotation Energy Green Volt and Cenos CEO Nicol Stephen said about this:

“Our pioneering projects play a key role in the energy transition. They have a direct impact by delivering renewable energy, but crucially Green Volt and Cenos are also advancing the offshore wind industry by scaling floating wind technology far beyond the size of current projects.”

He added that the necessary environmental assessments and development for the projects were already at an advanced stage, so these pioneering projects should help in building a supply chain catering to other North Sea floating wind projects, as well as the global market.

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