How is the North East of Scotland becoming a hub for offshore wind?
There are currently five consented offshore wind developments planned for off the North East coast of Scotland, so the region is trailblazing in terms of investment and tangible projects getting off the ground. Part of AREG’s strategy is to identify and drive forward projects that will bring economic development value to the region. We want Aberdeen to be as famous for renewables as it is for oil and gas.
There needs to be a sustainable energy sector, which supports jobs for future generations and it is important we retain critical energy skills as well as promoting our capabilities across the country and globally. One of the key attractions of the North East of Scotland is our well-developed supply chain with globally recognised expertise in engineering solutions designed for harsh water conditions.
What scale of wind farm is being planned?
The wind farms are all very different in terms of concept and construction. At one end of the scale we have three innovation led projects, and at the other, two industrial scale power stations.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility is being developed by Vattenfall. Located in Aberdeen Bay, the 92.4 MW 11 turbine offshore wind scheme will trial next generation technology.
AREG devised the project, found industrial partners and helped secure a grant of up to 40 million euro from the EU for the project. We were previously a shareholder and development partner and we continue to have a facilitation role. Construction began last year with first power expected to be generated next summer.
The £2.6 billion Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm will be situated in the Outer Moray Firth and is expected to power approximately 450,000 homes. The 588MW, 84 turbine farm being developed by Subsea 7, Nexans and Siemens is currently under construction and is expected to be fully operational in 2019. The Moray Offshore Renewables development in the outer Moray Firth is expected to generate 1.5GW of capacity across three sites.