£10B UK decarbonization effort combines wind and hydrogen

£10B UK decarbonization effort combines wind and hydrogen

Hydrogen Renewables

United KingdomCerulean Winds has disclosed a concept to speed the decarbonization of oil and gas assets through an integrated 200-turbine floating wind and hydrogen development.

The £10 billion proposed green infrastructure play would have the capacity to abate 20 million tonnes of CO2 through simultaneous North Sea projects West of Shetland and in the Central North Sea.

The initiative is now urging the UK and Scottish governments to make a “exceptional” argument for achieving “extraordinary” results for the economy and the environment. Marine Scotland has received a formal request for seabed leases. Cerulean’s leadership has hired Tier 1 contractors to build the UKCS backbone and has engaged the financial markets for a fully funded infrastructure construction.

The development

The proposed construction includes around 200 of the largest floating turbines with 3GW per hour capacity at sites west of Shetland and in the Central North Sea, feeding power to offshore facilities and excess 1.5 GW per hour power to onshore green hydrogen reactors. It also includes the possibility to electrify the bulk of present UKCS assets, as well as future production capacity beginning in 2024, to cut emissions considerably ahead of schedule. The initiative also includes 100 percent availability of green electricity to offshore installations at a price lower than present gas turbine generation via a self-sustaining plan with no upfront investment to operators. Furthermore, the creation of green hydrogen on a large scale and the potential for £1 billion in hydrogen exports are part of the plan. It also offers no subsidies or CFD requirements, as well as hundreds of millions of pounds in government money generated from leasing and taxation through 2030.

Creating new jobs

Cerulean has undertaken the necessary infrastructure planning for the scheme to ensure the required level of project readiness, targeting financial close in Q1 2022. Construction would start soon after with energization starting in 2024. An Infrastructure Project Finance model, commonly used for major capital projects is being adopted.

Cerulean estimates that the current 160,000 oil and gas jobs can be safeguarded and 200,000 new roles within the floating wind and hydrogen sectors will be created within the next five years.