Crown Estate launches forum to unlock CCUS

Jul 07 2021

The Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum which will identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with the co-location of Offshore Wind and CCUS.

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 by 2050 obligations. As suitable space on the seabed is limited, and as capacities for both will need to increase to meet this target, it is anticipated that that there will be a number of areas that will require infrastructure in the same location[i].

Led by The Crown Estate, the Forum brings together the offshore wind and CCUS industries including the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) and RenewableUK, as well as Government and Crown Estate Scotland. It will provide strategic coordination of co-location research and activity and help maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities.

The Forum has been 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 central recommendation of the study is the formation of an oversight body to co-ordinate future activity in this area. Further details of key findings and recommendations are included in the notes to editors.

The study has been funded by The Crown Estate with support from Crown Estate Scotland and the OGA, and was conducted by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE) together with the Net Zero Technology Centre (formerly called OGTC).

Huub den Rooijen, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate, says: “Reaching the nation’s net zero target is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Offshore renewable technologies and carbon storage have a critical role to play in reaching this target and we are focussed on maximising the potential of the seabed to enable their sustainable growth.

“With the seabed more in demand than ever before, collaboration will be key to unlocking this potential. We are therefore delighted that industry, Government and Crown Estate Scotland are joining us in this ground-breaking Forum which will provide the knowledge and evidence to enable the CCUS and offshore wind sectors to flourish and deliver innovative, world-class solutions to tackle the climate challenge.”

‘CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study’: Key findings and recommendations include:

  • Whilst offshore Wind and CCUS projects should be planned to avoid overlap where possible, infrastructure in the same location is potentially feasible with appropriate mitigation
  • Risks associated with overlapping projects include:
    • A lack of clarity over how issues associated with overlap, such as development planning and precedence, can be handled
    • Ability to physically perform CCUS Monitoring, Measurement and Verification (MMV) surveys in amongst offshore wind farm infrastructure
    • Co-ordination of increased offshore operations in one specific area.
  • Immediate mitigation actions identified include a particular focus on good co-ordination and communication between projects when planning activities such as surveys, infrastructure and operational safety measures including helicopter and diver operations.
  • Longer-term mitigation actions identified include:
  • The development of a co-location forum (announced today)
  • A proactive review of where projects could potentially overlap and ensuring a combined approach to planning in those areas
  • Developing alternative CCUS store characterisation and monitoring technologies which are more compatible with offshore wind projects.

The Crown Estate
CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study

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Issue 82 - July - Aug 2021

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