Offshore Wind

Winds of Change – offshore wind is leading Scotland’s energy transition, come and help us make the change.

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By 2035 Scotland needs to have delivered over 40GW of offshore wind. Over 50% of this capacity will be floating wind, making Scotland the largest floating wind market in the world.

Leading the world

  • Scotland was the first country in the world to declare a Climate Change Emergency
  • Scotland has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the UK and most of the rest of the world
  • Scotland led the world in the development of deep-water offshore wind with the Beatrice demonstrator project in 45m water depth back in 2005
  • Scotland continues to lead the world in deep water wind technologies with the two largest floating wind farms in the world
  • The latest ScotWind leasing round will see 15GW of floating wind being delivered in Scotland over the next decade
  • The Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas or INTOG leasing round will see offshore wind provide the decarbonisation energy for the oil and gas sector in the North Sea in the first round of such projects anywhere in the world

Did you know?

  • The ScotWind offshore wind leasing round will deliver some of the largest floating wind projects in the world
  • The offshore wind industry will be worth more than £25bn to the Scottish economy by 2030
  • The Scottish offshore wind supply chain clusters DeepWind and Forth and Tay Offshore represent more than 900 companies across the supply chain most of whom will required to expand their workforces to deliver future projects
  • Support for the industry includes a £100 million Green Jobs Fund, to create jobs in the low carbon economy
  • Port sites around Scotland’s coast are seeing investment in new Offshore Wind Operation and Maintenance facilities that will provide hundreds of jobs for up to 25 years for the lifetime of the offshore wind farms they will serve.

Beatrice

Talent

Scotland’s wind sector already employs more than 13,500 people, with this number set to more than double within the next 10 years. Besides operations and maintenance jobs, such as offshore wind technicians and marine vessel crews, other related jobs will include roles in the planning and development of the wind farms as well as during the construction and operational phases.

Employers

More than 1,000 companies work in Scotland’s wind sector. They range from SME’s to multinational companies from both the utility and oil and gas industries and include:

  • SSE Renewables – headquartered in Scotland, SSE Renewables has the largest offshore wind development pipeline in the UK and Ireland at over 6GW and has an onshore wind pipeline across both markets in excess of 1GW
  • Shell - is building wind power business in Scotland in partnership with ScottishPower. They see wind power as an important way of generating renewable electricity and helping the UK achieve the government’s target of net zero by 2050
  • ScottishPower – was awarded seabed rights for three offshore projects with total capacity of 7GW in ScotWind Leasing – two large-scale floating projects in partnership with Shell and one solo fixed project
  • Corio Generation – a new offshore wind development company created by the Green Investment Group to take forward a 15GW global development pipeline. Corio will be headquartered in the UK with offices in London and Edinburgh, and active in a variety of European markets as well as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia
  • bp – success in the ScotWind leasing round sees supermajor, bp, partner with EnBW on the 2.9GW Morven project. They have also partnered with Aberdeen City to deliver the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub
  • Vattenfall and Fred Olsen Seawind- have been successful in the ScotWind leasing round and will begin developing an 800MW offshore wind farm on the East Coast of Scotland
  • Harland & Wolff – large scale fabricator with two yards in Methil (Fife) and Arnish (Lewis) in Scotland. The company is currently building steel jacket substructures for the EDF Renewables and ESB’s NnG wind farm off the East Coast of Scotland
  • Global Energy Group – major fabrication company which operates the Port of Nigg yard and has group offices in Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Nigg is currently delivering substructures for the Seagreen offshore wind farm in the Firth of Forth and the company is also planning a major offshore wind manufacturing hub at their Nigg site
  • Natural Power – green energy consultancy headquartered in Scotland with over 400 staff including operations in Ireland, France and the USA.
  • Scotland is a hub of legal expertise in the energy and low carbon sectors. Companies include Harper Macleod, Brodies, Burness Paull and Pinsent Masons.
  • Atmos Consulting - From its roots established in the onshore wind sector, the company has grown to be a highly respected and trusted multidisciplinary environmental and planning consultancy practice, delivering on a diverse range of projects including for transmission and interconnector clients.

Job types

The huge growth of the offshore wind sector in Scotland is creating new opportunities in the design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms for both bottom fixed and floating technologies.

These include early stage site work roles for environmental sciences, community liaison, environment and geophysical surveys, resource assessment, wind farm design and project management.

The construction phase will require roles for offshore engineering, heavy lifting expertise, vessel logistics and management, skills related to advanced manufacturing, welding, high voltage electrical works, the development of smart controls, offshore coatings and protection, inspection and monitoring, electrical commissioning, offshore construction, communications, IT systems and a wide variety of other related disciplines.

Academic excellence

Scotland has 19 world-class universities and produces 21,000 university graduates a year in IT, engineering, maths and sciences. Low carbon specialisms include sustainable engineering, geothermal energy and hydrogen storage. Scotland’s Energy Technology Partnership is the largest most broad-based energy research partnership in Europe, with 600 researchers across 13 universities.

The Wind Energy and Control Group at the University of Strathclyde is an international leader in wind energy and the control of wind turbines and wind farms.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures – involves research groups at Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Oxford Universities and offers fully funded PhD Scholarships to deliver research projects in wind energy and substructure themes.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewables (IDCORE) aims to train fifty Engineering Doctorate (EngD) students over a nine year period admitting approximately ten new students each year for five years and started in September 2019. This is a collaborative partnership between The University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, Strathclyde University, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and is tasked with expanding and sustaining a community of high-quality post-doctoral staff for the UK offshore renewable energy industry.

History of firsts

With a track record of invention and innovation, Scotland is a land of wind energy global firsts:

  • First use of jacket substructure technology from the oil and gas industry in offshore wind (Beatrice demo 2005)
  • First floating wind farm (Hywind Scotland in 2017)
  • First use of suction bucket jackets (Aberdeen Bay, 2018)
  • First planned HVDC multi-terminal connection (Caithness to Moray link, 2019)
  • First use of 9.5MW turbines on a floating substructure (Kincardine, 2021)
  • First 10MW Vestas turbine installed offshore (Seagreen, 2021) First fixed bottom jacket in 55m water depth (Seagreen, 2021)
WindFloat

Energy expertise

Offshore Wind expertise and projects in Scotland include:

  • Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – based in Glasgow the ORE Catapult their mission is to accelerate the creation and growth of UK companies in the offshore renewable energy sector, using their unique facilities and research and engineering capabilities to bring together industry and academia to drive innovation and commercialisation in renewable energy
  • Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence - an ORE Catapult internationally recognised centre of excellence in floating offshore wind which will work towards reducing the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for floating wind
  • The Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen will partner with the ORE Catapult to create the £9M Floating Wind Innovation Centre. This initiative will initially focus on digital simulation and modelling and then move to testing and validation of floating wind components
  • The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – Vattenfall’s test & demonstration facility off Aberdeen for next generation operation and maintenance technologies, currently hosting some of the world’s most powerful wind turbines
  • The PowerHouse - based in Alness near Inverness this is a new applied research centre dedicated to developing floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies. It will become a global centre of excellence and renewable energy innovation, reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader in floating offshore wind and green hydrogen developments at commercial scale
  • The National HVDC Centre at the University of Strathclyde is a state-of-the-art simulation and training facility established to support all HVDC schemes connecting to the GB. This includes offshore wind electrical infrastructure and the latest HVDC multi-terminal systems for grid upgrades both on and offshore
  • National Manufacturing Institute Scotland - A world class facility where industry, academia and the public sector work together on ground-breaking manufacturing research to transform productivity levels, makes companies more competitive and boost the skills of our current and future workforce. These advanced manufacturing techniques are key for future cost reduction in the manufacture of offshore wind components
  • Construction Scotland Innovation Centre – industry-led centre to help businesses deliver transformational change in construction, including increasing efficiency. Relevant to concrete substructures for floating wind systems

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