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Offshore wind and CCUS co-location

Following the advice of the Climate Change Committee, both offshore wind and CCUS have a significant role to play in helping the UK achieve its net zero targets.

The UK Government has published its Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener1 which outlines the commitment to:

  • deliver four carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) clusters, capturing 20-30 MtCO2 across the economy, including 6 MtCO2 of industrial emissions, per year by 2030
  • deliver 40GW of offshore wind, including 1GW of innovative floating offshore wind by 2030.

As suitable space on the seabed is limited, and as capacities for both technologies will need to increase to meet these ambitions, it is anticipated that that there will be some areas offshore, where infrastructure could be required to co-exist.

The Crown Estate is facilitating work to identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with the co-location of these two technologies, as well as solutions to help make this a reality where needed.  

In July 2021 we announced the formation of the Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum (the Forum). Led by The Crown Estate, the Forum brings together the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), RenewableUK, Government and Crown Estate Scotland to provide strategic coordination of co-location research and activity and help maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities.

The Forum was developed in response to the recommendations of the ‘CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study’ which examined the risks that may result from the development of offshore wind and CCUS projects in similar locations. The study was funded by The Crown Estate with support from Crown Estate Scotland and the OGA, and conducted by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult together with the Net Zero Technology Centre.

The study can be downloaded via the link in the panel opposite.

Forum members

  • The Crown Estate
  • The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA)
  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Crown Estate Scotland (CES)
  • Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA)
  • RenewableUK (RUK)
  • The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC)

The expertise of a wider group of people and organisations will be drawn on as needed as the work of the Forum progresses.

Areas of focus

The areas of focus for the first projects to be supported by the Forum have been informed by ‘CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study’. They are: 

Spatial characterisation and planning: Mapping where high-potential Offshore Wind and CCUS projects could potentially overlap, to inform a combined approach to future seabed planning and marine spatial prioritisation.

Conformance and seismic data gathering: Exploring how new technologies and updated guidelines could make it easier for essential CCUS monitoring surveys to take place in and around offshore wind infrastructure.

Best practice for simultaneous operations: A series of studies to model how co-location could affect access to sites for operational reasons (such as maintenance vessels, research vehicles, construction activity and helicopter access), and whether there are ways to co-ordinate activities to reduce impacts and open up co-location possibilities.

Wider Marine planning stakeholder engagement: Modelling the impact that additional traffic created by co-location has on other sea users and highlighting opportunities to address any impact.

Opportunities for sharing resources: Analysis of whether there is a need for an integrated approach for overlapping Offshore Wind and CCUS projects, which could provide a collaborative digital framework to enable issues such as overlap planning opportunities, development planning / precedence, promotion of collaboration.

Corrosion and geomechanical modelling: Assessment of potential impact on offshore infrastructure caused by saline brine displacement and CO2 injection, allowing mitigating measures to be quantified and put into practice.

Development and operational alignment: Activity to explore how common standards, cross-industry liabilities and dispute mediation are handled to provide clarity should damage to assets occur through co-location

Get in touch

If you have industry or technical expertise to feed into any of the above activity streams, get in touch by emailing [email protected] 

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy

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