A £235 million early-investment package to support the renewable energy supply chain in Scotland has been unveiled by Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind. The financial package is included in the joint Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind ScotWind bids, which would build supply chain capability many years ahead of the introduction of new floating offshore wind fields in Scotland’s deep waters.
The early investment package for every successful bid would help deliver the transition from fossil fuel industries by generating thousands of new jobs and economic opportunities, as well as enabling Scotland to drive down the costs of clean energy through the industrialization of new technology.
As part of a consortium, Aker Offshore Wind has submitted proposals for up to three sites in the Outer Moray Firth with the possibility of generating a combined 6 GW of wind energy in total as part of the ScotWind leasing program, with associated total spend of up to £15 billion for all three sites.
Through direct work and supply-chain opportunities, each proposal is estimated to generate more than 5,000 jobs and 200 apprenticeships in Scotland across all project stages. There would also be extensive investment in Scotland’s existing ports and harbors, as well as new subsea technology.
More than 30 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are now in place across the supply chain in support of the bids and the early action needed. There is a commitment to 60% local supply chain content from the U.K., of which 40% minimum content will come from Scotland.
The £235 million of early-enabling investment also includes feasibility, benchmark and implementation studies with selected fabricators seeking to establish or upgrade facilities in Scotland. This will deliver globally competitive facilities in Scotland for the fabrication and assembly of floating platforms.
An immersive virtual reality design of a fabrication yard has already been developed in conjunction with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland at the University of Strathclyde as part of the early investment process.
Aker Offshore Wind and its partners can support the development of the Scottish supply chain because the companies have already identified which technology they plan to use at floating offshore wind sites: the ‘WindFloat’ developed by Principle Power Inc (PPI), which has already been in operation for over 10 years with local fabrication as part of its delivery.
Separately, Aker Offshore Wind is the lead industry partner in a major project to develop wind turbine blade recycling in Britain for the first time, backed by a £2 million U.K. government grant.
“Building on our 180-year industrial heritage, we know early investment is needed if we want Scottish capability to be built ahead of the project execution phase when globally competitive tenders are sought,” says Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK. “Scotland can be one of the first countries to develop floating wind at scale. 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. That’s why we are committed to an enabling investment fund of £235 million.