Stromar: A pioneering joint-venture floating offshore wind project

By Nicholas Ritchie, Ørsted’s Development Director for Stromar

At Ørsted, our vision is to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Developing floating offshore wind is key to making that vision a reality.

Successfully building floating offshore wind farms at scale will tap into as much as 80% of the world’s offshore wind resource, placing turbines in much deeper waters with stronger and more consistent winds from the coast of California to Asia.

Meeting the challenge of building industrial, gigawatt scale offshore wind farms on floating platforms will not be easy. That’s why we’ve brought together the best and the brightest minds in Scotland to tackle the challenge.

Ørsted has joined forces with BlueFloat Energy and Renantis to develop Stromar, a ground-breaking 1 GW floating offshore wind farm off the northeast coast of Scotland.

The name ‘Stromar’ comes from a combination of the Scottish island of Stroma and the Scots Gaelic word ‘mar’ which means ‘sea’.  It is an apt name, as Stromar will generate power continuously in one of the toughest environments in the world.  And it will be built to be as resilient as its namesake, a rugged island facing the elements.

We are confident that with our combined expertise and track record of success, we can deliver one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms and maximise the benefits of the green energy transition for Scotland’s communities, economy, and environment.

Graphic showing the floating process from construction to operation

‘Dream Team’

Stromar brings together a “dream team” of three companies working in conjunction to deliver an ambitious, innovative project.

  • Ørsted, the world’s leading offshore wind developer, has three decades of experience successfully developing and building more offshore wind projects than any company in the world with 8.9 GW of capacity installed across three continents.
  • BlueFloat Energy is a trailblazer in floating offshore wind technology, with a total global offshore wind pipeline of more than 31GW.
  • Renantis, formerly Falck Renewables, is an expert in community engagement and stakeholder management, particularly in Scotland, where it has championed sharing value generated by its projects with communities since 2006.

Delivering a floating offshore wind project of this magnitude, with the capacity to power upwards of 1 million UK homes, will go a long way towards achieving Scotland’s 2045 net zero goal.

We are confident that working together as an integrated project team we can not only deliver this project, but also help Scotland realise its potential as a frontrunner in the execution of commercial scale floating offshore wind.

An investment in the future

A large-scale project like Stromar, which will be located off the coast of Caithness, around 50 km east of Wick, will require a commitment to collaboration. That’s why we are fully committed to developing the local supply chain and creating jobs right here in Scotland.

We aim to invest billions in the Scottish supply chain over the lifetime of the project. In addition, we will work with local schools, colleges, and universities, to train and reskill the workforce for green energy jobs to ensure Scottish workers, both emergent and existing talent, are the long-term beneficiaries of our supply chain investments.

“We aim to help Scotland become a global hub for floating innovation, technology, expertise, manufacturing, and execution.”

Floating offshore wind platforms build on the technology first honed by the Scottish oil and gas industry and subsequently exported around the world. We aim to do the same thing with floating offshore wind – helping Scotland become a global hub for floating innovation, technology, expertise, manufacturing, and execution.

We’re already working with organisations such as the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Scottish Enterprise to develop a sustainable Scottish supply chain and fully trained workforce with the expertise to be world leaders in floating wind technology. We are also supporting The Powerhouse, a new national innovation and training centre in the Highlands dedicated to floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies.

At the same time, we have an ambition to include genuine community ownership so that local Scottish communities can share the financial benefits of the industry.

We are currently engaged in a consultation exercise with Energy4All to learn more about how Scottish communities can best be involved in the project to truly share the benefits of floating offshore wind with the communities in which we operate. 

Green energy in balance with nature

Above all, as pioneers in the green energy transition, we are committed to doing it right – in balance with nature. 

Floating offshore wind allows us to tap into sites that are further offshore where the water is deeper, and the wind is often stronger. Compared to seabed-fixed offshore wind, floating offshore wind turbine foundations are anchored to the seabed with mooring lines – making them less disruptive to marine life, birds, and the commercial fishing industry.

The innovative technology will help us meet the industry-leading commitments we’ve made to protect, enhance, and restore biodiversity in all the environments where we operate.

Working together 

“Developing floating offshore wind at an industrial scale will be a game-changer for the renewable energy industry.”

Developing floating offshore wind at an industrial scale will be a game-changer for the renewable energy industry – allowing us to reach new regions with deeper waters and stronger winds.

At Ørsted, we know that on the path to net-zero, we’re just getting started. And we also know that we can’t do it alone. 

The ambitious Stromar joint venture is a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Together we will achieve great things and move another step closer to a world that runs entirely on green energy.  
Ørsted’s Development Director for Stromar

Nicholas Ritchie is Ørsted’s Ørsted’s Development Director for Stromar. Born, raised, and living in the North-East of Scotland, Nicholas worked around the world in the oil and gas sector for more than 20 years before joining Ørsted, then DONG Energy, in 2015. He is a prime example of how renewable energy re-skilling can work, moving from one energy sector to another. He will be at the RenewableUK Global Offshore Wind conference. If you’d like to hear him speak about our pioneering joint-venture floating offshore wind project Stromar, please come to Ørsted’s J20 stand on Wednesday 14 June.

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