Ireland-headquartered Mainstream Renewable Power – behind the £2 billion Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm off Fife – and various parts of Germany’s Siemens group including its turbine venture with Spain’s Gamesa have joined forces to put forward plans.
The partners have previously developed the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Hornsea off the Yorkshire coast, which has helped create nearly 1,000 jobs in Hull and the Humber including a blade factory. Mainstream, which has an Offshore Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh, and Siemens said the participation of tier one suppliers as part of the consortium makes their ScotWind bid “stand out”.
“Should this group succeed in the leasing round, this means Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy will be able to explore the development of a Scottish supply chain right from the outset,” they said.
The consortium and its partners said they already have extensive experience and commitments to Scotland and plan to build on their established supply chains.
As well as Mainstream’s development of the Neart na Gaoithe project, Siemens Gamesa has installed more than 60 per cent of Scotland’s fully operational offshore wind turbine capacity, and Siemens Energy has invested almost £200 million into Scottish suppliers over the last five years while delivering renewables and transmission projects.
“The consortium seeks to accelerate Scotland’s energy transition and will work with local communities and industries to provide a platform for long-term growth,” it said.
“As well as demonstrating best practice in offshore wind development, the partners will also look to mobilise their collective expertise to explore ancillary technologies locally, including green hydrogen production. By investing in this collaborative process from the early bidding stages, the consortium aims to unlock the true potential of Scotland’s energy and engineering heritage for a new energy future.”
Mainstream chief executive Mary Quaney said a strong commitment to community engagement in Scotland was a key part of the success of the Neart na Gaoithe wind farm.
"We’ve set the bar high, and with a highly experienced local team and Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh, we’re perfectly placed to deliver the next era of offshore wind for the Scottish economy, supply chain and communities.”
A total of 74 bids across the 15 areas of seabed available for development have been submitted under the ScotWind offshore leasing round.
Colin Palmer, director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “The high number of applications from developers shows just how much potential Scotland’s seas hold for the future expansion of offshore wind. There is now a huge amount of work to do in assessing every application thoroughly and fairly so that the strongest projects go through to the next stage in helping to power Scotland’s energy sector towards a net-zero future.”
Option fees will be paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed. The maximum amount payable will be £100,000 per square kilometre of seabed.
Revenue profit from the leasing will be returned to the Scottish government for public spending to drive the green recovery and other priorities.