Two of the world’s leading offshore wind energy companies have teamed up to develop floating offshore wind farms in Scotland.
The ongoing leasing process allows offshore wind developers to secure acreage for projects in Scottish waters.
Aker Offshore Wind and Ocean Winds are currently partnering on projects in the USA and Korea.
Ocean Winds, a 50-50 joint venture by EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, of Spain and France respectively, already has an established footprint in Scotland.
The company, which has a base in Edinburgh, is behind the Moray East offshore wind farm currently under construction off the Aberdeenshire coast.
The 100-turbine project is expected to deliver a significant number of jobs in the north-east once complete – it is expected to become fully operational next year.
Meanwhile, Ocean Winds’ Moray West development, also earmarks for the Moray Firth, is currently working to secure a Contract for Difference (CfD), after missing out in 2019.
Dan Finch, managing director of Ocean Winds UK, said: “Ocean Winds has a long history of project delivery in the Moray Firth, having brought the 950MW Moray East – Scotland’s biggest windfarm – from concept to generation.
“More than a decade ago, we had the vision of commercial scale generation in deeper water, further from shore, using bigger turbines than the available technology of the day. Now we are delivering that vision in the Moray Firth.”
He added: “Aker Offshore Wind is an ideal complement to Ocean Winds with synergies that make this partnership stronger than the sum of its parts.
“Aker brings five decades of offshore experience in the oil and gas industry together with expertise and competence to industrialise and scale new floating offshore technology.
“Ocean Winds bring a history of world-leading renewable electricity development, culminating in the delivery of Scotland’s biggest offshore windfarm.
“Together we have the size, experience and dependability to introduce floating offshore wind technology to Scotland at commercial scale.”
Aker Offshore Wind has had a hand in the design and delivery of more than half of the world’s semi-submersible floating offshore installations.
The two companies also have a combined majority ownership of Principle Power, the developer of turbine foundation WindFloat.
The pair said their ScotWind bid would have an emphasis on job creation, skills transition and technology development in the local supply chain.
Floating turbines open up more of the ocean to developers as they can be situated in deeper waters, which tend to be windier.
They will be vital as fixed bottom sites begin to fill up but work still needs to be done to reduce the cost of the technology.
Kristian Røkke, chairman of Aker Offshore Wind, said: “Aker has a history of transitioning and delivering marine industry capabilities, technology, and digital innovation from Scotland to manage and de-risk offshore projects.
“In Ocean Winds we have a partner which has delivered Moray East, Scotland´s largest wind farm yet.
“Adding to that Aker’s offshore fabrication competencies and strong supply chain partnerships, the consortium is perfectly positioned to take this important step for Scotland in the transition to renewable energy.”
He added: “The Aker group of companies have many decades of industrial heritage behind them, as they look to the future of digitalizing the floating wind industry.
“Together, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind will bring determination, innovation, and experience proven to successfully introduce and deliver new technology, while at the same time, significantly reducing energy costs.”