Associate Feature: What will it take to make ScotWind a success?
Scotland is embarking on a renewable energy revolution which will create the power we all need while leading the way on reducing carbon emissions.
The ScotWind process – which will see offshore windfarms developed in Scotland’s deep waters – is one of the most exciting green energy developments in the world. Aker Offshore Wind and our partners Ocean Winds have teamed up to submit a bid to create offshore windfarms built on floating platforms, one of the latest advancements in renewable energy.
At Aker Offshore Wind, we believe ScotWind can be a catalyst for the nation – and provide benefits far beyond renewable energy and direct employment.
We believe there is an investment roadmap to ensure Scotland maximises value from ScotWind and becomes the undisputed global leader in offshore wind.
1. Investing in the supply chain
The ScotWind leasing round can be a catalyst for industrial development of the Scottish supply chain industry and play a critical role in the transition of the North Sea oil and gas industry to greener pastures. Fundamental to our bid is early investment in the supply chain, with real economic benefits for the whole of Scotland from the start.
The capability needs to be built in Scotland long before the main project starts to enable effective global competition and affordable electricity generation as projects move into the development phase. This requires early support in critical areas such as fabrication methodologies and digital leadership.
We have already signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with many suppliers. By investing early in the supply chain, thousands of jobs will be created in Scotland which are highly-skilled and sustainable, and supported by significant investment in an enduring and comprehensive project. These jobs will also help transform the national energy supply chain through billions of pounds of investment, something generations now and in the future will benefit from.
2. Investing in people and knowledge
ScotWind will bring in new technology and know-how, but it will be essential to create strong links to research and academic institutions to ensure Scotland maintains and grows the knowledge to support the growth of the industry long term. Aker Offshore Wind has signed MoUs with several academic institutions across Scotland to partner and build roadmaps for skills and competency development in local communities in relation to the next evolution of subsea technology.
3. Investing in experience
The success of ScotWind is based on whether the bidding companies manage to deliver on their promises and have the track record to prove it.
The partnership between Aker Offshore Wind and Ocean Winds is one of experience and heritage. Ocean Winds currently operates Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm, the Moray East project, while at Aker Offshore Wind, through the Aker group of companies, we have decades of experience in innovation and technical know-how.
Our experience in the Scottish North Sea spans more than 40 years delivering to Scotland’s offshore industries by building a strong local presence and relevant solutions. We both have the track record which shows how we will make a success of floating offshore wind in Scotland.
Playing our part
In November, the world’s eyes will fall on Scotland as it hosts the vital COP26 summit. Leading experts and policy makers from across the globe will be in attendance, and millions more will be watching on - hoping for signs of progress and optimism, as well as detailed and workable solutions to the climate crisis.
And following the Covid pandemic, people are looking at how new jobs can be created at great scale, working in an environment which is sustainable for the future. By coming together in this way, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind have the solution.
From the seas off the coasts of Moray and Aberdeen, to the fabrication yards and production sites of central Scotland, the whole country stands to benefit, and we would be privileged to play our part.
Sian Lloyd-Rees is managing director of Aker Offshore Wind UK
This article was sponsored by Aker Offshore Wind UK