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Energy / INTOG bidding process to get underway

Photo: Aker

OFFSHORE wind developers are now being invited to register their interest for the INTOG leasing process which aims to award renewable energy contracts to decarbonise the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Developers can apply for the rights to build small-scale innovative offshore wind projects, of less than 100MW, and larger projects which will provide green electricity to oil and gas infrastructure to reduce their carbon emissions.

The INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas) leasing process is separate from the ScotWind bidding round which is aimed at developers of offshore wind farms that will feed into the national grid.

A number of companies and developers have already expressed their interest in developing large floating wind farms which would not be connected to the national grid, but instead would produce energy to electrify oil and gas installations in addition to kick-starting a green hydrogen industry.

Plans for floating wind farms move ahead as steel specialist joins project


Earlier this year Crown Estate Scotland, the body that manages seabed leasing for offshore renewables, issued a map showing designated areas for development, including areas to the west, north and east of Shetland.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association has already repeatedly raised concern that the local fishing industry is in danger of being “crowded out” by the sheer number of potential projects in offshore renewables.

Crown Estate Scotland’s director of marine Colin Palmer said: “INTOG represents an exciting opportunity to help decarbonise oil and gas installations and enable innovative projects which are important in lowering costs for the commercial deployment of offshore wind, reducing risk, and developing Scotland as a destination for innovation and technical expertise.”

Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for net-zero, energy and transport Michael Matheson added: “Oil and gas continue to play an important role in our economy and it is therefore vital that the energy industry decarbonises as rapidly as possible.

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“The INTOG leasing round presents significant opportunities to cut emissions across these operations while, crucially, enabling the offshore wind sector to expand, innovate, and drive forward Scotland’s ambition to be a renewables powerhouse.”

Following a two-week registration process, companies can submit their bids between 24 August and 18 November.

Crown Estate Scotland said it envisaged applicants being notified of the leasing results by the end of March 2023.

The lease period has been doubled to 50 years for electrification projects.

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