State-owned Scandinavian power giants ponder prospect of Grampian offshore wind power hub

CGI of Statoil's Batwind battery project for its Hywind offshore floating wind turbine in Grampian.
CGI of Statoil’s Batwind battery project for its Hywind offshore floating wind turbine in Grampian.

Grampian could become a regional hub to a cluster of offshore wind power-related developments, MSPs were told at Holyrood last night.

Speakers from Statoil – the state-owned Norwegian giant oil company – and the state-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall – are among foreign investors with actual and/or planned offshore wind developments off the Aberdeenshire coast.

Jill Tully, investment manager for Statoil’s Energy Ventures subsidiary – told MSPs at the first cross-party meeting of the Scottish parliamentary Nordic Nations group – about her company’s investment in its Hywind project.

“Hywind’s floating wind farm technology is unique in the world and it’s happening here in north east Scotland.

“Statoil is transferring our extensive experience in building platforms for oil and gas exploration to add wind turbines to floating ‘pillars’. This technology has the potential to open up new global markets.

Statoil has been active in wind power technology almost as long as it has been operating in oil and gas – albeit in a low profile way.

Tully added: “Via Hywind, we’re bringing Norwegian oil and gas know-how to Scottish renewables and by 2030, Statoil aims to allocate 20% of its capital investment in wind power and renewables.”

Statoil is also ‘actively exploring’ the market and technological feasibility of carbon capture and storage developments using decommissioned oil and gas infrastructure in the (Norwegian) North Sea.

Diplomatic representatives and business delegates from Finland, Denmark and Norway also attended the meeting, chaired by Tory MSP Maurice Golden.

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