SCOTTISHPOWER and Royal Dutch Shell have teamed up to enter the bidding for windfarm licences off Scotland in a landmark licensing round that has generated huge interest.

The energy giants said they have submitted multiple proposals for new large-scale floating offshore windfarms as part of the ScotWind Leasing round, which closes for submissions today.

The round is the first offshore wind auction to cover acreage off Scotland for a decade.

ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson underlined the potential for it to unlock huge amounts of investment in new renewable energy generating capacity.

“With just a few months until the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, ScotWind will help create a whole new industry in floating wind that will play a crucial role in putting the country on course for a cleaner and greener future,” he said.

A range of international oil giants have already said they plan to bid for ScotWind licences, as they look to respond to growing global concern about the threat posed by carbon dioxide emissions.

READ MORE: Scottish windfarm licence bidding heats up as Italian oil giant enters fray

On Monday Italy’s Eni said it would make a joint bid with Chinese-owned Red Rock Power.

BP is working with German energy firm Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg (EnBW).

France’s TotalEnergies said last month that it would bid for ScotWind licences with Australian investment bank Macquarie.

Equinor of Norway and Scottish Hydroelectric owner SSE are also in the running.

Mr Anderson is confident that Glasgow-based ScottishPower will have a good chance of winning licences with Shell.

He said: “Bringing ScottishPower and Shell’s collective knowledge, experience and expertise together means we’re perfectly placed to lead the way in developing large-scale offshore floating windfarms and creating a new green industry with massive potential for exporting our skills and experience globally and helping the UK decarbonise its energy generation.”

READ MORE: International energy and finance giants to bid for ScotWind licences

Shell said floating offshore wind is a technology that is poised to scale up. It is suitable for use in deeper water zones where fixed foundations aren’t feasible making it ideal for Scottish waters.

Shell UK Country Chair, David Bunch said “If our bid is successful, Shell and SPR are fully committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop supply chains and expertise which could make Scotland a world leader in floating wind.”

Other firms that are bidding have played up the potential for the projects they hope to develop to create work for firms across Scotland and jobs.

The windfarms completed to date or under development off Scotland have failed to provide the boost to activity and jobs hoped for.

When ScotWind was launched in June last year Crown Estate Scotland held out the prospect that around 10 windfarms could be developed on the acreage concerned, helping to unlock as much as £8bn investment.

It said ScotWind bidders would have to submit supply chain development statements.

READ MORE: Windfarm boom off Scotland must not be at expense of consumers

The latest round covering the waters off England, Wales and Northern Ireland won a very strong response.

BP bid successfully for acreage with EnBW.

The ScotWind round was extended in February, in response to the success of the exercise covering the rest of the UK.

Equinor developed the world’s first large scale floating windfarm in Scottish waters, in the form of the Hywind development off Peterhead.

Spanish-owned ScottishPower has developed big windfarms off England, including the giant East Anglia One development. Its portfolio includes 26 onshore windfarms that are in operation in Scotland and development projects.

Shell has been a significant force in the North Sea oil and gas industry for decades. It has retrenched in the area in recent years amid challenging market conditions.

READ MORE: Shell underlines value of North Sea business after cutting Aberdeen jobs

Shell aims to be a net-zero business by 2050, after taking account of emissions associated with its own production and the use of products it sells to customers.

The company plans to increase investment in renewables but to remain active in oil and gas. Chief executive Ben van Beurden has said gas will be an important transition fuel, while the required global renewables capacity is developed. The company can use the profits generated by its oil and gas business to fund investment in other sectors and payouts to investors.

In November, SSE said it would work with Japanese industrial giant Marubeni and the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners investment firm in the ScotWind round.