As a leasing round for floating offshore wind projects in Scotland gets underway, Aker Offshore Wind is aiming to bolster the supply chain in anticipation of increased demand

An offshore wind developer has committed £235m to boost the renewable energy supply chain in Scotland ahead of the development of a new wave of floating offshore wind farms.

Aker Offshore Wind last week announced it has created a £235m early investment package as part of its joint bid with Ocean Winds – a venture between ENGIE and EDP Renewables – to develop floating offshore wind farms off the Scottish coast.

The proposed investment package aims to bolster the supply chain ahead of the development of the offshore wind projects, potentially create thousands of jobs and drive down the costs of clean energy through industrialisation of new technology.

“If we focus on what our supply chain needs and provide it now, we can capture first mover advantage for our supply chain in a number of different technologies and solutions,” said Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK. “That’s why we are committed to an enabling investment fund of £235m. A just transition requires we put the effort in early to work out what a healthy and growing supply chain needs. This is the cornerstone for the just transition ambition of Scotland and will ensure we deliver clean energy affordably.”

Aker Offshore Wind has submitted proposals for three offshore wind projects in the Outer Moray Firth, which could generate a combined 6GW of wind energy, as part of the ScotWind leasing programme run by Crown Estate Scotland for contracts to build new wind projects on Scotland’s seabed.

The company said more than 30 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been agreed across the supply chain to support its bid. They have also committed to securing 60 per cent of supply chain content from the UK, of which a minimum of 40 per cent would come from Scotland.

Each proposal could create over 5,000 jobs and 200 apprenticeships in Scotland, at all stages of the projects and within the supply chain, according to the company. If approved, the offshore wind projects would also see Aker Offshore Wind invest in ports and harbours and new subsea technology.

The £235m early investment plan also includes feasibility, benchmark, and implementation studies and an immersive virtual reality design of a fabrication yard that has already been developed in conjunction with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland at the University of Strathclyde.

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