A vision of what a new manufacturing base in Scotland would need to build for the floating offshore wind revolution has been unveiled by Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind that will be used to attract global investors to the country.
The immersive virtual reality design has been developed in conjunction with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland at the University of Strathclyde as part of the early investment process required to develop the major new industry that will create thousands of local jobs.
An engagement event was held last night at the university with a range of international fabricators with an active interest in Scottish developments which would consider setting up here.
The approach taken ensures that international representatives will have time to design and prepare the base in time for bidding for work.
With the first steps in the journey of setting up a facility in Scotland underway, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind can move at speed to support the development of the Scottish supply chain because the companies have already identified which technology – the ‘WindFloat’ – they plan to use at floating offshore wind sites.
The companies are the majority owners of Principle Power Inc, which has developed the ‘WindFloat’ steel-based floating platforms - the world’s most proven floating offshore wind technology - to harness this energy.
The model will be shared globally with fabricators looking to establish and choose the location of an internationally cost-competitive site in Scotland for the fabrication and assembly of floating platforms. And it will also be used locally with the Scottish and UK supply chain which stands to benefit from the creation of new jobs and opportunities.
As part of the current ScotWind leasing round, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind have submitted floating offshore bids across several sites in the Outer Moray Firth that, combined, could generate 6GW of energy.
As detailed in the partners’ supply chain manifesto published earlier this week, more than 5,000 jobs would be created through direct work and supply chain opportunities for each site, along with around 200 apprenticeships.
With an established ScotWind design and the expertise of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind can move earlier to start the floating offshore wind revolution.
This in turn enables early engagement with fabricators to help them get ready for the ScotWind roll-out and shape the design of the plant based on their fabrication delivery capability.
Around 80 per cent of the world’s wind resources are in waters deeper than 60 metres and are unsuitable for fixed foundations. Floating offshore wind has become the latest advent in renewable energy technology and is set to deliver a green industrial revolution for Scotland with a ‘just transition’ from the oil and gas industry.
Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind have made a commitment to 40 per cent minimum supply chain content in Scotland as part of a 60 per cent commitment from the UK, with early enabling investment of tens of millions of pounds in building supply chain capability within the first four years of winning a site.
“We are in the business of turning vision into reality,” said Dan Finch, managing director of Ocean Winds UK. “The first step is to identify the vision. In the Moray Firth our vision was high-volume, low cost, low carbon power in water depths of 50m and more. We made that vision a reality. Now we want to take our turbines out of the Firth into the deep waters of the North Sea.
“Our vision is Scotland leading the world in the commercial scale deployment of floating offshore wind generation. Today, we have brought that vision to life so we can share it with the global supply chain who will turn it into a reality at a site in Scotland.”
“We want to capitalise on the extraordinary economic and environmental opportunity facing Scotland,” said Sian Lloyd-Rees, Managing Director of Aker Offshore Wind UK. “We are committed to working with fabricators in Scotland and across the UK, supporting them with early investment and collaboration to get ready to deliver globally-competitive solutions for Scotwind.”
“It is great to see the level of ambition from Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind in the Scotwind leasing round,” said Cian Conroy, Director of Business development, Northern Europe, with Principle Power Inc. “The commitment to scale coupled with the early selection of technology are key enablers for the future of floating offshore wind.
“Early engagement with ports and fabricators is key to enabling the establishment of robust supply chains. This will crucially tailor the delivery plans for these largescale infrastructure projects which are essential to decarbonise our energy mix.”