Cerulean Winds reveals bidding plans for INTOG leasing

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 19/07/2022 Cerulean Winds

Cerulean Winds has revealed it will bid for four seabed lease sites which seek to decarbonise the UK’s oil and gas sector. The floating offshore wind and green energy proposal for Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas leasing round (INTOG) includes four 1.5 GW sites of floating wind power.

With well over £6 billion of investment proposed for each 100-turbine site, the scheme is claimed to abate tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 in line with North Sea Transition Deal targets.

Cerulean Winds stated that, with its selected delivery partner NOV, it has been engaging the supply chain for over 18 months and has a live request for information (RFI) with UK yards for the fabrication and assembly of its tri-floater technology.

The steel floating bases would constitute hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel, which unlike cement fixtures, can be floated out from shore.

It claims the development would create over 10,000 jobs many of which would be high value manufacturing jobs in Scotland as a new generation of automated and hi-tech fabrication and assembly is established.  

Dan Jackson, founding director of Cerulean Winds said: “We have a big, bold bid, which is ready to go on scaling the green economy, creating thousands of jobs and making Scotland’s oil and gas production the cleanest in the world.  

“The scale we are proposing makes the project economics appealing for providing affordable green power to the platforms to replace gas and diesel generation through a combination of green electrons from wind and molecules from hydrogen.  

“We are absolutely committed to the local supply chain benefitting from this development and far surpassing local content targets. Our base structure design can be floated in very shallow water depths suitable for the UK, unlike alternative cement floating wind structures which require 90 metres so can’t be built here.”

The Cerulean Winds team is led by entrepreneurs Dan Jackson and Mark Dixon, who have more than 25 years’ experience working together on large-scale offshore infrastructure developments in the energy industry.  

A consortium of tier 1 contractors are in place as well as a number of industrial and financial partners, financial services groups Société Générale and Piper Sandler, who have engaged the financial markets. The development requires no subsidies.

Jackson added: “There is a lot of concern about rising energy prices and energy security. Wind and green energy at this scale are a big part of the solution. We are engaging with oil and gas operators and can see the appetite is there to get behind cleaning up production, and we can deliver in a way that minimises disruption. Whilst smaller piece metal wind developments are useful for testing concepts or innovations, it will take a UK wide solution to remove the emissions at the pace required to hit the net zero targets governments. Furthermore, our large scale scheme lowers the LCOE – cost of the power – which is highly attractive to the operators.”

The Crown Estate Scotland is expected to launch the INTOG leasing round next month ( August 2022) with a three month window for applicants to submit their proposed projects. Exclusivity Agreement Awards are expected to be awarded in H1 2023.

INTOG will enable developers to apply for seabed rights for small scale innovative offshore wind projects of less than 100 MW and for projects connected to oil and gas installations, to reduce carbon emissions associated with those sites. It is a ‘first of its kind’ and the Crown Estate Scotland outlined  there is no direct precedent to consider when finalising the design and requirements. In addition, the objectives for INTOG (stimulating innovation and decarbonising oil & gas) are different from those of other offshore leasing rounds and as a result some key features of the INTOG design and requirements, including pricing, are also different.