By Kristy Dorsey

Cerulean Winds has signed an agreement that will allow it to store excess power produced at sea at onshore hydrogen facilities.

The deal with px Group, which operates some of the UK’s largest industrial facilities, will see the installation of hydrogen storage plants at sites in the north of England, north-east Scotland and Shetland. These would support proposals from Cerulean to deploy hundreds of floating wind power turbines in the North Sea in a bid to cut the bulk of emissions associated with oil and gas production.

Led by oil services entrepreneurs Dan Jackson and Mark Dixon, Cerulean is seeking to fast-track permission to install 200 floating wind turbines west of Shetland and in the Central North Sea off the Scottish mainland. These would have the capacity to produce 3GWh of power, decarbonising “the majority” of UK Continental Shelf assets with an excess of 1.5GWh diverted to the onshore plants for industrial use.

READ MORE: Huge floating windfarms could be deployed off Shetland and North East Scotland

Under the terms of the agreement, px Group will be responsible for the lease and ownership arrangements for the sites, and for obtaining planning permissions.

The overall infrastructure project, which is valued at £10 billion, depends on the grant of seabed leases from Marine Scotland. Cerulean says it need a favourable decision by the third quarter of this year to meet the timescales set out in the North Sea Transition Deal.

“Timing is absolutely crucial in this,” Mr Jackson said. “Everything hinges on those leases being granted, even conditionally, by this autumn so we can move ahead on schedule.”

He added that failure to move quickly on basin-wide decarbonisation would "wholly undermine" the objectives of the transition deal.