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New group will help Highland firms benefit from offshore floating wind projects

By Calum MacLeod

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The Hywind Scotland project at Buchan Deep will help Scotland top the offshore wind generation league.
The Hywind Scotland project at Buchan Deep will help Scotland top the offshore wind generation league.

ENERGY supply chain companies in the the Highlands, Moray and throughout Scotland will benefit from a new group helping them to secure work from the offshore wind sector.

The group has been formed as a subgroup of DeepWind, Scotland’s supply chain cluster. DeepWind is currently managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help cement Scotland’s and the UK’s lead role in the development of offshore wind. Scotland is currently the world leader in the deployment of floating offshore wind with the Hywind project and the soon to be completed Kincardine wind farm set to provie a combined capacity of 80MW, this will place Scotland at the top of the floating offshore wind league.

The new subgroup will be co-chaired by Andronikos Kafas from Ocean Winds and Julia Roope from Fugro and involves more than 200 members of the DeepWind cluster.

It plans to develop close ties with centres of innovation, such as the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence and the Carbon Trust’s Floating Offshore Wind Joint Industry Project. This will ensure the supply chain can be directly involved in the commercialisation of new technologies.

Many of DeepWind’s 24 developer members are involved in both these innovation centres. The subgroup includes floating substructure technology companies from across Europe who are looking to demonstrate their systems in Scotland and the UK, creating opportunities for local supply chain businesses.

Dr Kafas said: “The subgroup is currently the only floating offshore wind forum for direct discussion between developers/tier ones and the tiers two/three (typically where most local content lives).

“The aim of the subgroup is to assist the sector and parent DeepWind group with horizon scanning, opportunity setting, and capacity building of Scottish companies, under the auspices of economic development agencies”.

The group held its first webinar last month to introduce the industry co-chairs and its aims. It also organised an online poll to gather input directly from supply chain companies on topics and activities of most interest to its members. Responses incuded meet-the-buyer events, an introduction to the offshore wind supply chain procurement process, and Scottish market updates.

The group has also been asked to contribute to a number of focus areas, including cost reduction, innovation, support for technology development by local companies and skills transition into the floating offshore wind sector.

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