Offshore Wind and the opportunity for the Northern Powerhouse

In a major vote of confidence in the UK’s green economy and net zero ambitions, The Crown Estate has today announced six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales. It has also created problems for neighbouring ScotWind

A NEW port on Teesside to build the next generation of offshore wind projects will be constructed as part of a £20 million investment to boost the UK’s world-leading industry and create 3,000 new jobs in the North, the government announced today (Wednesday).

Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre, on the River Tees, will receive up to £20 million and will begin construction later this year to update the port with new infrastructure – helping to revitalise the historic industrial heartland.

The six Round 4 projects together represent just under 8 GW of potential new offshore wind capacity with the opportunity to deliver clean electricity for more than seven million homes and create employment opportunities across the country.

Of particular note is the involvement of the oil and gas majors, Total on the East coast and BP in the Irish Sea.

Interested? Feel free to join me at the Northern Powerhouse: Offshore Wind and Hydrogen Professionals Group


One unintended consequence of the high bids (see table below) is the forcing of yet another delay to the ScotWind process – which has now been paused indefinitely. The law firm Pinsent Masons said the decision would not be welcomed by industry, and could even lead to potential bidders pulling out of the process. Gareth Phillips comments:

“Given the level of pricing we saw with round four earlier this week, it is perhaps unsurprising that Crown Estate Scotland has decided to take this approach, but it will not be welcome by those in the industry who have already planned budgets and spent significant resource on putting ScotWind bids together in time for the expected deadline of 31 March,”

The opportunity itself, with mammoth associated economic benefits in the tens of billions of pounds of regional investments, now moves a couple of hundred miles southwards and into the Northern Powerhouse ‘red wall’ territories. Further political interest may revolve around the possibility of another referendum being mentioned for Scotland this year.

As for ScotWind, already two years late, further indefinite delays will likely antagonise bidders, especially if higher fees result. Questions must also be asked about communication between the London and Edinburgh siblings. At the Round 4 meetings I attended great play was made of the presence of the Scottish Crown Estate; Let’s hope the wounding football chant of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ isn’t relevant here!

The Round 4 bid details: Courtesy of the Crown Estate

Project Identifier Region/ location Successful bidder Proposed project capacity (MW) Option fee deposit paid (exc. VAT)

1 Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough RWE Renewables 1500 £114,304,500

2 Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough RWE Renewables 1500 £133,350,000

3 Off the Lincolnshire Coast, East of the Humber Estuary Green Investment Group and Total 1500 £124,573,500

4 Off the Northern Welsh Coast, North East of Anglesey Consortium of EnBW and BP 1500 £231,000,000

5 Off the Lancashire Coast, West of Blackpool and South West of Morecambe Bay Offshore Wind Limited, a JV between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. and Flotation Energy plc 480 £44,751,840

6 Off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, West of Morecambe Bay Consortium of EnBW and BP 1500 £231,000,000

Interested? Feel free to join me at the Northern Powerhouse: Offshore Wind and Hydrogen Professionals Group where I’ll keep you informed

Prepare for the offshore wind and hydrogen economy. Further