Secured during the recent ScotWind offshore wind leasing round, the option agreement secures a seabed lease for a floating wind site of up to 1GW. The project will be located off Caithness, around 50 km east of Wick and is Ørsted’s first large-scale floating wind development project anywhere in the world, as well as expanding Ørsted’s footprint from onshore wind to offshore wind in Scotland. The proposed floating offshore wind farm will be known as Stromar.
The successful bids combined plans to build a skilled workforce and boost the Scottish supply chain, developing Scotland as a global hub for floating offshore wind technology, along with establishing a new model to ensure communities benefit from offshore wind.
Duncan Clark, Head of Region UK for Ørsted said: “Our existing offshore wind farms have transformed the areas where we operate – strengthening local supply chains and providing people with new jobs and skills that really make an impact on people’s lives. We now look forward to bringing our expertise to floating wind for the first time and bringing those same benefits to Scotland while also providing the clean energy which will be crucial to a net zero future.”
The successful bid combined Ørsted’s unparalleled expertise in developing and building more offshore wind projects than any other company in the world with BlueFloat Energy’s focus on developing floating wind projects and Falck Renewables’ strong track record of community engagement in Scotland and global project development.
As part of the preparatory work to deliver the projects, research will be carried out with the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) to investigate the potential effects of floating offshore wind developments on the marine environment. Projects under discussion will examine how fishing interests and offshore wind can work together and study the interaction of fish, marine mammals and seabirds with floating offshore wind farms.
Work has already begun with community ownership experts Energy4All on a new framework which will allow residents of Scotland and Scottish communities to share the financial benefits of the offshore wind energy projects the consortium plans to build in the future. A collaboration with Energy Skills Partnership Scotland (ESP) to help train up a skilled workforce in time for construction to begin is also underway.