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Offshore wind’s thriving supply chain highlighted

Posted on 21/11/2019 by Laura Russell

Businesses working in Scotland’s offshore wind supply chain are highlighted in a new report published today (Nov 20) to mark Offshore Wind Week (Nov 18-22).

Ports, fabricators, underwater vehicle specialists, helicopter transfer operators and more are featured, demonstrating the breadth and talent currently evolving to support this rapidly-expanding sector.

The document showcases a snapshot of 17 companies which were active in offshore wind in 2018-19, the majority of which are home-grown SMEs.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, which produced the report, told how it “demonstrates not just the current state of the offshore wind supply chain in Scotland but also the opportunities which come from diversifying into renewable energy”.

She continued: “Scotland’s combination of exceptional wind speeds and a history of innovation and engineering make it one of the best places in Europe to develop offshore wind, and we are keen to maintain that status.

“The projects which are now starting to build out show the scale of the prize for supply chain companies and this document was brought together to showcase just some of them.

“From digital and data to shipping and safety, the opportunities created by this relatively new sector are almost limitless. Industry is determined to work with supply chain companies at all scales to ensure they capture the maximum possible benefit from offshore wind for Scotland.”

The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC), which launched last month, has an ambition that the amount of offshore wind installed in Scottish waters will increase eightfold by 2030 – building enough capacity to power every household in Scotland twice over.

SOWEC, which is co-chaired by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and Brian McFarlane, SSE Renewables’ Head of Projects for offshore development, also commits to increasing local content in line with the ambitions set out in the UK Sector Deal, developing a sustainable, world-class supply chain in Scotland.

 
The council works with the two offshore wind clusters, which have been set up as geographically-linked groups of organisations working in the sector. Both Scottish clusters welcomed the report's publication.

Isla Robb, Forth & Tay Offshore Cluster Lead, said: “Scotland’s offshore wind sector has achieved some major milestones in recent months, due in no small part to the hard work and determination of our supply chain companies.

“I therefore welcome this new report from Scottish Renewables, highlighting some of their recent achievements at home and abroad. I’m confident we’ll see ever more examples of success in the years to come as we continue to develop Scotland’s offshore wind capabilities to make the most of the opportunities presented by this fast growing sector.”

Paul O’Brien, DeepWind Cluster Manager, said: "It is good that we can highlight the work of the Scottish offshore wind supply chain in this way to show that companies are winning substantial work in the offshore wind sector.

"These contracts often fail to hit the headlines and therefore tend to remain below the radar. Offshore Wind Week is an opportunity to celebrate the success of these Scottish companies who have put in a lot of time and effort to win this work and it is the job of the new clusters to help more of them do the same."

The new report, titled ‘Scotland’s Offshore Wind Sector: Supply Chain Impact 2018-19’, is available to download from Scottish Renewables’ website.

Ends

Notes:

  1. ‘Scotland’s Offshore Wind Sector: Supply Chain Impact 2018-19’ was supported by EDF Renewables, SSE Renewables and Red Rock Power Limited.
  2. Offshore Wind Week is an annual event designed to raise awareness of the UK's world-leading offshore wind industry.
  3. More information on the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council can be found here, and the UK offshore wind sector deal here.

Laura Russell

Communications Officer