An event in Inverness today will bring together more than 100 supply chain companies that have joined the recently established DeepWind Offshore Wind Cluster.
The firms will be given updates from developers and presentations on the emerging market in floating generation technology at the gathering, organised by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
HIE and Scottish Enterprise are currently managing the new offshore wind sector cluster, which covers the Highlands and Islands and Moray, Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire and has been set up as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy.
Although focused on the north-and north-east, membership is open to companies across Scotland already operating in the industry, or keen to join it.
Today’s event is the first since the cluster’s launch in April.
Paul O’Brien, DeepWind cluster manager at HIE, said: “This is new territory for HIE and Scottish Enterprise as we help create an energy industry cluster.
“The response from member companies and the support from developers such as EDPR and SSE has been amazing. They have embraced the DeepWind cluster concept and membership has grown tremendously.
“From a standing start in April this year it has now reached 150 members and this growth looks set to continue.”
With the launch this year of SSE’s 588 megawatt (MW) Beatrice wind farm and the giant 950MW Moray East project under construction, the north of Scotland is currently at the forefront of the country’s offshore wind development
HIE said the “billion-pound industry” offers “significant opportunities for companies across the whole of Scotland.”
Edinburgh-based EDP Renewables (EDPR) and Engie are the lead partners in delivering the Moray East offshore wind farm and its sister project, Moray West; two of the largest offshore wind projects in the world.
Dan Finch, managing director of EDPR said: “In order to deliver large scale commercial contracts in the Highlands we need to work together to realise the opportunities for regional businesses. Events such as these can help to support organisations, making sure that they are ready and able to provide the required services – at a competitive cost and scale.
Other areas of the UK, such as Hull, have responded well to renewables development and benefitted massively in return. These opportunities lie in the Highlands and we are determined for them to be realised.”