UK offshore wind and CCS colocation projects kick off

The Offshore Wind and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Colocation Forum (the Forum), set up to provide strategic coordination of colocation research and activity on the nation’s seabed, has commissioned two research projects.

Crown Estate Scotland (Illustration)

The projects are designed to inform the best approach to test and demonstrate the colocation of offshore wind and CCS activities in the future.

The research projects – Project Colocate and Project Anemone – build on the Forum’s Spatial Characterisation Report, which identified areas of potential overlap for offshore wind and CCS on the seabed, and NSTA’s Seismic Imaging Report, which explored various options for monitoring carbon storage and offshore wind sites to help resolve possible colocation issues.

Delivered by the University of Aberdeen with funding from the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, Project Colocate will investigate the viability of areas on the seabed for colocation of CCS and offshore wind, with bespoke monitoring plans for each area.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen will focus their investigations on the East Irish Sea and Central North Sea, both of which have been identified as having significant potential for future colocation of CCS and offshore wind, according to the Crown Estate.

The complementary Project Anemone will explore mutually beneficial opportunities arising from the colocation of these developing industries.

The project aims to identify and map the routes to realizing these opportunities to create practical guidance for how offshore wind and CCS technologies can operate alongside each other – from construction to decommissioning. 

“Project Colocate will identify areas of the seabed that are potentially viable for colocation, whilst Project Anemone will help uncover how future practical demonstration might proceed. Together, both projects will help pave the way for test and demonstration, as well as facilitating greater collaboration and understanding between these two vital sectors,” said Adrian Topham, Chair of the OW & CCS Colocation Forum at The Crown Estate.

To achieve the UK’s net zero targets, the UK Government is targeting the delivery of 50 GW of offshore wind energy and the capture of 20-30 million tones of CO2 per year by 2030.

According to RenewableUK’s EnergyPulse market intelligence data report, the UK’s pipeline of offshore wind projects reached almost 98 GW, second only to China.