Aker Offshore Wind and Ocean Winds have unveiled a £235 million early investment package to boost the renewable energy supply chain in Scotland as part of their strategy to convert the nation into a green industrial powerhouse.
The funding package is included in the combined Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind ScotWind proposals, which would establish supply chain capabilities several years before the installation of new floating offshore wind farms in Scotland’s deep seas.
Aker Offshore Wind thinks that by gaining ‘first mover advantage,’ Scotland may become one of the first countries in the world to implement floating wind on a large scale. The early investment package of £235 million for each successful bid would contribute to a “just transition” away from fossil fuel industries by creating thousands of new jobs and economic opportunities, as well as allowing Scotland to drive down the costs of clean energy through industrialization of new technology.
Floating offshore wind is the most recent innovation in renewable energy, utilizing massive turbines considerably farther out from land than is currently possible.
Around 80% of the world’s wind resources are in oceans deeper than 60 meters, making traditional fixed foundations impractical, with floating turbines opening up significant new energy opportunities.
Aker Offshore Wind, as part of a partnership, has made plans for up to three sites in the Outer Moray Firth, with the potential to generate a total of 6GW of wind energy as part of the ScotWind leasing program, with a total investment of up to £15 billion for all three locations.
Each proposal is expected to produce more than 5,000 jobs and 200 apprenticeships in Scotland throughout all project stages through direct work and supply chain possibilities. There would also be significant investment in Scotland’s existing ports and harbors, as well as creative new subsea technologies – a particularly important capability of our current Scottish supply chain.
More than 30 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have already been signed across the supply chain in support of the bids and the immediate action required. There is a commitment to 60% local supply chain content from the UK, with Scotland providing 40% of the required content.
The £235 million in early enabling investment also includes feasibility, benchmarking, and implementation studies with selected fabricators seeking to establish or upgrade facilities in Scotland, leveraging the competitive advantages of the Scottish supply chain through initiatives such as innovation, workforce development, diversity, and skills transition, and capital investment costs for Scottish infrastructure facilities.
This will result in internationally competitive capabilities for the production and assembly of floating platforms in Scotland. As part of our early investment process, we created an immersive virtual reality design of a manufacturing yard in collaboration with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland at the University of Strathclyde.
Aker Offshore Wind and its associates can move quickly to support the development of the Scottish supply chain because the companies have already established which technology, they intend to use at floating offshore wind sites: the ‘WindFloat’ developed by Principal Power Inc (PPI), which has already been in operation for over ten years and includes local fabrication as part of its delivery.
Separately, Aker Offshore Wind is the main industry partner in a significant initiative to create wind turbine blade recycling in the United Kingdom for the first time, which is supported by a £2 million UK Government grant.
“Building on our 180-year industrial tradition, we know early investment is required if we want Scottish competence to be established ahead of the project implementation phase when internationally competitive tenders are sought,” said Sian Lloyd-Rees, managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK. Scotland might be one of the first countries to commercialize floating wind. We can achieve first mover advantage for our supply chain across a variety of different technologies and solutions if we focus on what our supply chain needs and give it quickly. That is why we have committed to a £235 million enabling investment fund.
“A fair transition necessitates that we put in the effort early on to figure out what a healthy and growing supply chain demands.” This is the cornerstone of Scotland’s fair transition aim, and it will guarantee that we offer clean energy at an affordable price.”
Aker Offshore Wind is an offshore wind developer with a concentration on deep-water assets and a specialty in floating energy systems. With a global presence, the present portfolio includes development projects and opportunities in Asia, North America, and Europe. Aker Offshore Wind employs cost-effective technology developed over decades of offshore energy development. Aker Horizons, an investment firm focused to producing profit and lowering emissions via renewable energy and decarbonization technology, owns the majority of the company. Aker Offshore Wind [AOW-ME] is a Norwegian company that is listed on Euronext Growth.
ScotWind Leasing is the procedure that Crown Estate Scotland is now pursuing on behalf of the Scottish Government to award property rights to the seabed in Scottish seas for new commercial scale offshore wind projects. It is Scotland’s first round of seabed leasing for offshore windfarms in a decade.