SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP win rights to develop giant floating offshore wind farm in ScotWind success

  • 858 sq km offshore lease area is one of the largest awarded by Crown Estate Scotland to any ScotWind bidder
  • Win paves way for leading partnership to develop one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms off Scotland’s east coast
  • When complete will be capable of powering around 4.3m Scottish homes and offset 5m tonnes of carbon emissions each year
  • ScotWind success for SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP will support delivery of economic and social benefits for Scotland

The leading renewable energy developer in Scotland, SSE Renewables, along with partners Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) and Danish fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have won rights in the competitive ScotWind leasing round to develop what will become one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms off the east coast of Scotland.

In the ScotWind results announced today by Crown Estate Scotland, the SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP partnership has won rights to 858 square kilometers of seabed that will support the development of a new giant floating offshore wind farm. The seabed is in the E1 Zone in the Firth of Forth off the Angus Coast and is one of the largest lease areas to be offered by Crown Estate Scotland to any bidder in the ScotWind process. It is near to the existing 1.1GW Seagreen offshore wind farm project which SSE Renewables is currently constructing, as well as SSE Renewables’ planned 4.1GW Berwick Bank super-project, which is currently in development. 

The lease area has average water depths of 72m, making the site suitable for the deployment of floating offshore wind turbines to deliver up to 2.6GW of new installed capacity – enough to be capable of powering almost 4.3 million Scottish homes and offsetting around 5 million tonnes of harmful carbon emissions each year. When complete, the project will become one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms, positioning Scotland as a global leader in floating offshore wind technology.

The successful SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP consortium, which has unrivalled local and global experience in the delivery of offshore wind using fixed and floating turbines, will now begin progressing the development of the giant ScotWind project to target first generation before the end of the decade. Once operational, the project will significantly contribute to the Scottish Government’s significantly enhanced ambition of delivering around 25GW of next generation offshore wind projects via ScotWind.

Success for SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP in the ScotWind leasing round paves the way for the partnership to deliver substantially on economic and social benefits worth billions of pounds for Scotland.  This includes the creation of a multi-million-pound supply chain fund to directly invest into Scottish companies and achieve spending of circa 50% in the Scottish economy from the projects over their lifetime as well as supporting the transition of Scottish Oil and Gas sector companies to enter the offshore wind sector. Other Scottish benefits to be delivered include funding for education, skills and community benefit, as well as the delivery of targeted research and employability initiatives in collaboration with the University of Highlands and Islands and other providers. Full details on these initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables, said: “We’re delighted to have been successful in winning our preferred site in the highly competitive ScotWind process, which is testament to the strength of our partnership with Marubeni and CIP. Together, our unique blend of local experience with global expertise mean we are now set to deliver up to 2.6GW of new offshore wind under ScotWind.

“SSE is playing a major role in delivering Scotland’s offshore wind ambitions for 2030 and beyond, with construction of Seagreen in the near term, development of Berwick Bank and now this ScotWind project which will be one of the largest floating wind sites in the world. These projects form a core part of SSE’s recently announced Net Zero Acceleration Programme which will see a trebling of the company’s renewables capacity by 2031.”

Hisafumi Manabe, President & CEO of Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation, said: “We are honoured to have been successful in the ScotWind process which is a tremendous opportunity for our consortium to effectively utilise its wide variety of experiences gained from our offshore wind projects both in Scotland and abroad. Marubeni will continue to contribute our know how and expertise acquired from multiple offshore wind projects, including floating demonstration projects in Japan. We are confident that the partnership of SSE, CIP and Marubeni will energise the local economy and will bring about further development of the related supply chain in Scotland, which in turn will be instrumental in reaching Net Zero.”

Michael Hannibal, Partner at CIP, said: “The announcement that our ScotWind bid has been successful is fantastic news and provides an excellent opportunity for CIP in collaboration with our partners to continue making a significant contribution to the green transition by leveraging the full force of our combined power of innovation, expertise and services. With CIP’s 100MW Pentland floating offshore wind project already in development, it will provide a unique stepping stone and key experience to allow our partnership deliver this ScotWind project and realise all the significant economic benefits for Scotland which it will deliver.”

SSE owns a 40% share of the development rights with Marubeni and CIP each owning 30%. The partnership has already invested over £7m in pre-award development of the project. Now, with success in the ScotWind seabed leasing round and subject to signing the lease Option Agreement with Crown Estate Scotland in Spring 2022, the partnership’s project team will be expanded to accelerate project delivery with a view to submitting a timely consent application.

About the SSE Renewables – Marubeni – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) consortium

The SSE Renewables-Marubeni-Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) consortium has unrivalled local and global experience as well as unparalleled technical and environmental expertise, making it uniquely placed to deliver on Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind goal of securing around 25GW of new offshore wind projects in Scottish waters.

Perth-headquartered SSE Renewables already has an unrivalled track record in Scotland including the country’s largest offshore wind portfolio and is building more offshore wind energy in the world right now than any other company. This includes construction of the 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm in the Firth of Forth which will be Scotland’s largest, and the world’s deepest, fixed-bottom offshore wind farm when complete in 2023. Together with CIP, SSE Renewables also successfully co-developed and constructed the operational 588MW Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, the first large-scale deep-water offshore wind development in Scotland. SSE Renewables’ parent company, FTSE-listed SSE plc, has contributed more than £1billion in GVA economic contribution to Scotland in the last year and employs over 4,500 people locally.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has an international footprint with vast experience of delivering offshore wind across continents and has opened a global floating offshore wind competence centre in Edinburgh.

In the north of Scotland, CIP has outlined plans to build a floating wind farm with a capacity of up to 100 MW off the coast of Dounreay in the Pentland Firth.

Marubeni owns stakes in power projects across 21 countries (including Japan) for a total net capacity of about 12GW. For ScotWind, Marubeni brings a wealth of sector experience of delivering floating offshore wind, including leading floating offshore wind demonstration projects in Japan with five different floating foundations at water depths around 50 to120m. Through demonstration projects, Marubeni has acquired valuable knowledge in relation to all stages of the life cycle of floating offshore wind farms.

These capabilities and commitments, coupled with a combined worldwide development portfolio of more than 27GW, demonstrate the SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP partnership’s extensive and successful track record of delivery in fixed and floating offshore wind, both locally and globally.

For further information, please contact:

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners: Julie Drewes, Communication Officer, Phone: +45 60564829, Email: media@cip.dk