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by Sofia Villegas
19 March 2024
Scotland opens first-ever innovation centre for floating offshore wind

Scotland leads advancements in floating offshore wind technology | Alamy

Scotland opens first-ever innovation centre for floating offshore wind

First Minister Humza Yousaf has opened the world's first innovation centre for floating offshore wind in Aberdeen.

 Funded by the Scottish Government and Innovate UK, the National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), aims to supercharge technology for the sector.

Designed by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in collaboration with ETZ Limited, the £9m site will be a “groundbreaking step forward in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind”, Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of ORE Catapult, said.

“When you look at the projected global market demand for floating wind technology over the coming years, the opportunity is eye-watering; dynamic cables alone will be a more than £2bn global market over the next decade.

“Here in the UK, we are well placed to play a leading role in that market by developing the supply chain to support the innovations that will bring this potential to life. Others are chasing the same prize though, so the time is right to make sure Scottish and UK companies are at the front of that race, and this facility is a key part of helping that happen,” Jamieson added.

Industry has estimated that floating offshore wind could contribute more than £43.bn to UK GVA by 2050 and create more than 29,000 jobs.

Ian Wood, chairman of ETZ Ltd, said: “A massive 17GW of planned floating wind projects are within 100 nautical miles of Aberdeen and this market-leading facility will have an internationally recognised capability to reduce the costs of energy from these developments supporting the incubation of new products, services, and businesses across the energy sector. We are already seeing a number of supply chain businesses actively transitioning toward offshore wind, creating jobs as they do so, and the operation of this centre will provide greater confidence for them to scale and grow.”

FLOWIC will have a range of cutting-edge equipment including a large-scale dynamic cable flex fatigue rig, and a virtual reality studio where engineers will envisage the challenges likely to happen when building floating wind turbines.

Yousaf said it would also help solve the “complex challenges posed by our net zero ambitions”.

He said: “We share a common objective to establish Scotland as a first mover in floating wind technology on an industrial scale and by seizing this advantage we can position Scotland among the world's leaders in this groundbreaking industry as we maximise the opportunities of our Just Transition.”

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