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Energy / Billions pledged for supply chain through offshore wind projects

An example of floating wind turbines.

FURTHER details have emerged of the three offshore wind farm projects proposed to the east of Shetland, including their supply chain commitments.

The three sites now have seabed option agreements in place through Crown Estate Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round.

But the plans have provoked concern from the local fishing industry, which does not want to be squeezed out in the development of offshore wind.

New data shows that Ocean Winds and Mainstream Renewable Power have committed to spending £1.2 billion in Scotland during the manufacture and fabrication of its proposed 1.8GW floating wind farm east of Shetland.

A further £1.1 billion has been committed for manufacturing in the rest of the UK.

The developers have also committed to spending more than £1 billion in Scotland in development, installation and operations.

But a table of ‘ambition’ figures shows a possible manufacturing spend in Scotland of more than £2 billion. 

They also say they will use UK flagged vessels operating from operation and maintenance bases in Shetland.

The developers say they will “seek to support the establishment of a globally competitive steel-based floating foundation fabrication and assembly facility in Scotland”.

The sites of the three proposed offshore projects. Image: ScotWind

Ocean Winds is also separately behind a proposal for a 500MW floating wind farm east of Shetland.

It has committed to spending £348 million in Scotland during the manufacturing and fabrication phase.

It anticipates spending a further £311 million in this stage in the rest of the UK.

Further spend of nearly £400 million has been committed in Scotland, according to the figures.

But the developer has ambitions to spend more than that – such as £575 million in manufacturing and fabrication in Scotland.

Ocean Winds says it will “seek to support the establishment of a globally competitive steel-based floating foundation fabrication and assembly facility in Scotland”.

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The third offshore wind farm is proposed by ESB, with a possible capacity of 500MW.

It has committed £332 million in Scotland – with £1.3 billion in Europe.

Its ambition though is for a spend of £832 million in Scotland, and less in Europe – £803 million.

The developer says its wind farm will “power the production of green hydrogen and transform Shetland into a renewable energy hub”.

ESB says it has engaged with Lerwick Port Authority over potentially using its Greenhead Base and Dales Voe areas for platform fabrication/assembly.

The developer has also explored the potential for an operation and maintenance base in Lerwick.

“While further investigation will be required, studies and engagements undertaken to date demonstrate clearly that Shetland has adequate capacity and capability to support this phase of the project [operations] at present,” it adds.

The ScotWind figures are included in new documents released this week by Crown Estate Scotland.

A total of 20 projects across Scotland have options agreements in place through the ScotWind leasing process.

They now show initial Scottish commitments of £28.8 billion, with up to 27.6GW of energy in line to be generated.

Colin Maciver, head of offshore wind for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This round of publications sets out further opportunities for  a range of businesses to become involved in delivering the next generation of offshore wind farms in Scotland.

“The success of the sector is tied closely to the success of building the overall supply chain – that’s why it’s so crucial that information is provided as widely and as early as possible.”

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