The Anonymous Widower

Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on Crown Estate Scotland.

These three paragraphs outline how the leases were allocated.

Three projects will be offered seabed agreements for offshore wind projects following Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind clearing process.

The announcement comes as an offshore wind supply chain summit is held in Aberdeen today (22 August) with Sir Ian Wood, chaired by Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, and including a keynote address by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP. 

Clearing saw the ‘NE1’ area east of Shetland made available for ScotWind applicants who met the required standards but who did not secure their chosen location earlier in the leasing process.

I think it was good idea to offer these leases to those bidders that failed to get a lease, the first time around, despite meeting the standards.

  • Would it encourage bidders, if they knew that after the expense of setting up a bid, that if they failed, they could have another chance?
  • It must also save the Scottish Government time and money checking out bidders.
  • How many times have you interviewed several applicants for a job and then found jobs for some of those, that you didn’t choose for the original job?

Let’s hope the philosophy has generated some good extra contracts.

This map from Cross Estate Scot;and shows all the contracts.

Note the three new leases numbered 18, 19 and 20 to the East of Shetland, in the North-East corner of the map.

Their details are as follows.

  • 18 – Ocean Winds – 500 MW
  • 19 – Mainstream Renewable Power  – 1800 MW
  • 20 – ESB Asset Development – 500 MW


All are floating wind farms.

  1. Ocean Winds is a Spanish renewable energy company that is developing the Moray West and Moray East wind farms.
  2. Mainstream Renewable Power appear to be a well-financed and ambitious company, 75 % owned by Aker.
  3. ESB Energy appear to be an experienced energy company owned by the Irish state, who operate several wind farms and Carrington gas-fired power station in the UK.

2.8 GW would appear to be a generous second helping.

Ocean Winds and Mainstream Renewable Power

This web page on the Ocean Winds web site, is entitled Ocean Winds Designated Preferred Bidder For Seabed Leases For 2.3 GW Of Floating Projects East Of Shetland, Scotland, contains several snippets of useful information.

  • Crown Estate Scotland announced the result of ScotWind Leasing round clearing process, awarding Ocean Winds with two seabed leases for floating offshore wind projects: a 1.8 GW capacity site with partner Mainstream Renewable Power, and another 500 MW capacity site, east of the Shetland Islands.
  • Ocean Winds’ international portfolio of projects now reaches 14.5 GW of gross capacity, including 6.1 GW in Scotland.
  • Floating wind turbines for the two adjacent sites are confirmed, because of the water depth.
  • The partners are committed to developing floating offshore wind on an industrial scale in Scotland, generating local jobs and opportunities in Scotland and the Shetland Islands.
  • From the picture on the web page, it looks like WindFloat technology will be used.
  • Ocean Winds developed the WindFloat Atlantic project.

Ocean Winds appear to want to go places.

The Shetland HVDC Connection

The Shetland HVDC Connection will connect Shetland to Scotland.

  • It will be 160 miles long.
  • It will have a capacity of 600 MW.
  • It is estimated that it will cost more than £600 million.
  • It will allow the 66MW Lerwick power station to close.
  • It will be completed in 2024.

I have a feeling that all these numbers don’t add up to a sensible answer.


  • The three offshore wind farms can generate up to 2800 MW of green electricity.
  • With a capacity factor of 50 %, an average of 1400 MW of electricity will be generated.
  • The Viking onshore wind farm on Shetland could generate up to 450 MW.
  • More wind farms are likely in and around Shetland.
  • Lerwick power station can probably power most of the Shetland’s needs.
  • Lerwick power station is likely to be closed soon.
  • Sullum Voe Terminal has its own 100 MW gas-turbine power station.
  • Load is balanced on Shetland by 3MWh of advanced lead-acid batteries.
  • Lerwick has a district heating scheme.

If we assume that Shetland’s energy needs are of the order of a few hundred MW, it looks like at times the wind farms will be generating more electricity, than Shetland and the Shetland HVDC Connection can handle.

Various plans have suggested building electrolysers on Shetland to create hydrogen.

Conversion of excess electricity to hydrogen, would have the following advantages.

  • The hydrogen could be used for local heavy transport and to replace diesel.
  • Hydrogen could be used to fuel a gas turbine back-up power station, when needed.
  • Hydrogen could be used for rocket fuel, if use of Shetland as a Spaceport for launching satellites takes off.

Any excess hydrogen could be exported to the rest of the UK or Europe.


August 24, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. We can’t shift wind power from North Scotland now when its too windy so i do hope in parallel with developing these wind farms the grid also keeps ahead of the curve so we can exploit full power and not have to constrain it off.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 26, 2022 | Reply

  2. It looks like the North Sea Link between Blyth and Norway took about six years from agreeing a start of construction to commissioning.

    Work has started on the much shorter Shetland HVDC Connection, with the 600 MW cable to be laid in the next eighteen months. It is likely to be commissioned in 2024.

    As these wind farms will probably be used initially to shut down Lerwick power station, it looks to me, that SSE, who are responsible for the Shetland HVDC Connection, have got a transmission and use plan for the electricity from the three wind farms as they come on stream.

    I would also expect to see a large electrolyser installed on Shetland.

    Comment by AnonW | August 26, 2022 | Reply

    • Lerwick is c30MWe so a couple of wind turbines will cover that. There is already excess wind capacity in the North of Scotland and there are plenty more onshore wind sites that are consented that have yet to be constructed. This need an additional HVDC interconnector to link across to Aberdeen coast area to allow it to then use the big Scotland to England HVDC interconnectors. The ESO has a germ of a plan but there not yet consented so what needs to happen is for that whole process to be scrapped and there told to get on with it. The rest of the world are playing catch up to UK but there isn’t big capacity in HVDC cable manufacturing let alone the EHV equipment needed to service everybody so given we need to import most of this kit (we shouldn’t have to the original grid was built out with indigenous kit but that’s another story) we need to get orders in now as lead times are extending.

      Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 26, 2022 | Reply

  3. Xlinks have got planning permission for a cable factory at Hunterston.

    XLCC Obtains Planning Approval To Build UK’s First HVDC Cable Factory In North Ayrshire

    As you say we should get on with it.

    Comment by AnonW | August 27, 2022 | Reply

  4. […] Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced, I looked at three floating wind farms to the East of Shetland, which are a secondary deal after […]

    Pingback by Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions To Expand U.S. Offshore Wind Energy « The Anonymous Widower | September 16, 2022 | Reply

  5. […] But since then three more floating wind farms with a total capacity of 2800 MW have been added, as I wrote about in Three Shetland ScotWind Projects Announced. […]

    Pingback by An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter? « The Anonymous Widower | September 29, 2022 | Reply

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