The proposed zone is located approximately 22 kilometres from the East coast of Scotland, and covers an area of 2,852 square kilometres in the outer Firth of Forth. The zone has a potential installed capacity of up to 3.4 gigawatts (GW) which would almost double Scotland’s entire existing renewables capacity. Fluor and SSE’s consortium, Seagreen Wind Energy Limited, will be working closely with The Crown Estate to engage with stakeholders and undertake site-specific surveys and assessments prior to bringing forward applications for a number of projects within the zone.
Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today’s news shows we’re creating the right conditions for the energy industry to invest in harnessing it. This is one of the strongest signals yet that the UK is locked irreversibly into a low carbon, energy secure prosperous future.”
Roger Bright CB, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate, said: “I am delighted to announce that Seagreen Wind Energy has been awarded the right to develop Zone 2, the Firth of Forth in our Round 3 offshore wind power programme. The 32 GW of installed capacity proposed by the offshore wind energy developers for 2020 would supply a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs. This means the UK will have a secure and low carbon electricity supply. In addition, the UK economy will benefit as offshore wind is a growth industry that will create new businesses and jobs as well as attracting inward investment. The Crown Estate has the vested rights to develop the UK seabed for renewable energy and will continue to be a co-investor up to the point of consent. Our role now is to work together with our development partners to help deliver the projects.”
Seagreen Wind Energy Limited, formed by Fluor and SSE, combines extensive renewables development, asset management and operations experience of a UK utility with the offshore project delivery expertise of one of the world’s largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies.
The partnership between Fluor and SSE successfully developed the 500megawatt Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm located off the coast of Suffolk, which is currently the first of the Round 2 projects under construction and is on schedule for completion in 2012.
Fluor and SSE will be working in partnership with The Crown Estate in development of the Firth of Forth zone as part of the commitment to the UK Government’s 2020 renewable targets.
Fluor Corporation’s senior vice president and head of its Infrastructure Business Line, Patrick Flaherty, said, “We are extremely pleased to have reached this stage in the process and look forward to working closely with our partners in this venture – The Crown Estate, SSE and all other stakeholders – to realize the full development potential of the zone. The award provides an opportunity to utilize our engineering and technical expertise to assist the Government and our clients in reducing carbon emissions and increasing the UK’s supply of green energy.”
Seagreen will now commence the environmental assessment and technical feasibility phase of the development. This will be followed by securing supply chain commitments and structuring the financing for the projects. Fluor does not anticipate booking the first project into backlog before 2015.
Jim Smith, Director of Offshore Development for SSE, said, “We are delighted that The Crown Estate has awarded Fluor and SSE development rights for the Firth of Forth. This builds on the successful track record of the Fluor and SSE joint venture to develop offshore wind, and I look forward to working in partnership with The Crown Estate and Fluor to achieve the desired development potential of this award.”
SSE is the UK’s leading generator of renewable energy. The company now has over 3,500MW of renewable energy capacity (onshore wind, offshore wind, hydro and dedicated biomass) in operation, under construction or with consent in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It also has over 1,900MW of offshore wind farm capacity for consent for development in northern Europe, including the Dutch sector of the North Sea. During 2009, SSE was awarded exclusive rights from The Crown Estate to develop offshore wind farms at locations in Scottish territorial waters (including two where it is in partnership with other specialist developers with a total capacity of over 2 GW).
Fluor’s UK operations were established in 1957 and today the company serves a wide range of industries including offshore oil and gas, power generation, infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications. Fluor Corporation designs, builds and maintains many of the world’s most complex and challenging projects. Through its global network of offices on six continents, the company provides comprehensive capabilities and world-class expertise in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 200 company with revenues of $22.3 billion in 2008.