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Offshore windfarm developers reveal investment plans

Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL), the consortium developing the West of Orkney Windfarm, hopes to spend a total of £1.1billion in Scotland, with £140million to be invested into the supply chain.

The supply chain investment plans for the windfarms off the coast of Orkney have been released today, showing their aims to spend £2.5 billion in Scotland.

The plans — called Supply Chain Development Statement (SCDS) outlooks — show initial commitments from the successful applicants in the recent ScotWind Leasing round.

The SCDS outlooks detail how each of the applicants could source products, materials, and labour to construct, erect, and service their offshore wind projects. They set out initial commitments across the full life cycle of projects, from development, through to operations & maintenance and the manufacturing and construction phases.

This initial projection of an average of £1.5billion per project takes into account all phases of work up to and including operations and maintenance.

Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL), the consortium developing the West of Orkney Windfarm, hopes to spend a total of £1.1billion in Scotland, with £140million to be invested into the supply chain.

On port and harbour infrastructure, the SCDS says the developer will “maximise the use of local ports and harbour facilities,” and that it is “working closely with Orkney Harbour Authority and Scrabster Harbour Trust to enable technical and commercial collaboration on the development of new facilities to support construction and operations.” In the first three years of the project, OWPL will commit to spend over £9million to “support local port and harbour infrastructure.”

The statement also explains the developer’s plan to fund a “bespoke programme,” with EMEC “to support innovation and cost reduction” in areas like floating wind and hydrogen technology.

Among other priorities, OWPL will also deliver a skills development programme during the first five years of the project’s development, “to support long-term employment opportunities in the wind sector.” The developer has signed agreements with the University of Highlands and Islands and the Energy Skills Partnership “to deliver a local multi-level programme focussed on STEM development, diverse workforce programme, and student sponsorship programme.”

The Cluaran Ear-Thuath windfarm to the east of Orkney is being developed by the Thistle Wind Partners consortium, and it hopes to invest £1.4billion for phase one and two of the project.

The SCDS statement says it will “maximise local content where practicable, actively engaging with the supply chain.”

It also says: “The TWP partners have a strong track record of local engagement not only with the supply chain but also investment in the necessary port infrastructure to catalyse local content for our development projects and the wider industry.”

A key part of ScotWind has been ensuring a focus from the outset on supply chain capacity to develop and deliver the projects. Crown Estate Scotland has mandated that applicants must outline supply chain commitments as part of their application for an option agreement, with commitments then updated throughout development as project specifics such as timing and technology become clearer, and the development of the supply chain progresses.