Cerulean North Sea renewables grid to power oil & gas platforms with floating wind
Cerulean Winds has unveiled plans to build the North Sea Renewables Grid (NSRG), an offshore integrated green power and transmission system, powered by floating wind, that oil and gas platforms could plug into for clean power.
With its consortium of partners including NOV, Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy, DEME, and Worley, Cerulean Winds say they will deliver one of the country’s largest infrastructure investment projects (approximately £20 billion) and support the sector’s decarbonisation targets.
Cerulean and its partner Frontier Power International said they will develop three 333 square kilometre sites of hundreds of floating wind turbines, producing multiple GW of electricity, after being offered the lion’s share of seabed leases in the recent Crown Estate Scotland INTO round.
The scale and location close together in the central North Sea could enable a new basin-wide offshore transmission system to be constructed which platforms can access, allowing them to remove millions of tonnes of production emissions by trading gas and diesel generation for a cost-effective and cleaner alternative, Cerulean said.
“Each windfarm site is located within 100km of the others and will be connected together to form the offshore ring main around the Central North Sea. A High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) transmission will provide availability and redundancy for maximising generation uptime. The scale allows for offtake to other parts of the North Sea through a new High Voltage Direct Current (HDVC) network”, said Humza Malik, founding partner of Frontier Power.
Phase 1 of the NSRG will focus on oil and gas operators to support their brownfield modifications with future phases exporting green power to the grids in the southern UK and Europe.
“Basin-wide scale gives greater flexibility, lower pricing and supply robustness. Work with end users has begun in earnest so that we can aim for first power availability in 2028”, said Dan Jackson, founding director of Cerulean Winds.
Cerulean has agreed on an approach with its industrial partners early to de-risk the project in the same way other large-scale infrastructure developments are initiated, the company said. In total, the three wind farms could contribute over £12 billion GVA to the UK’s economy.