The consortium behind the Stromar floating wind development off the north-east coast of Scotland has appointed a new director to head up the project.
Nicholas Ritchie will take on the job of leading the 1-gigawatt (GW) project planned by developers Ørsted, Falck Renewables, BlueFloat Energy.
Previously Ørsted’s head of transmission product line, Mr Ritchie took up the new position at the beginning of September.
Born and raised in Scotland, he has worked around the world in the oil and gas sector for more than 20 years and joined Ørsted, then DONG Energy, in 2015. Before joining the Stromar team, he was responsible for Ørsted’s global engineering portfolio and procurement of offshore transmission systems.
“Working on such an innovative project and helping Scotland lead the way in floating wind during the energy transition is very important to me,” he said.
“My dedicated team is made up of the best talent from Ørsted, BlueFloat Energy and Falck Renewables who will be working hard to make Stromar a success while helping develop Scotland into a global hub for floating offshore wind technology.”
Falck Renewables Wind managing director Richard Dibley added: “We are delighted to welcome Nicholas to head up the Stromar team. His career to date which has successfully transitioned from oil and gas to renewables is a blueprint for how a Scottish workforce can reskill to take advantage of offshore wind. His experience and knowledge will be crucial to delivering this ambitious project and ensuring that the benefits of floating offshore wind are shared with the Scottish economy, supply chain and communities.”
The Stromar floating wind project will be located off the coast of Caithness in ScotWind Plan Option N3, around 30 miles east of Wick.
The developers already have a seabed lease agreed with Crown Estate Scotland for up to 1GW of capacity.
The consortium says its proposed design is based on reinforced concrete structures which are straightforward to construct by “a large local workforce.”
It has outlined ambitions to spend up to £2.63 billion within the Scottish supply chain over the period of the project, with nearly £1.5bn already committed, according to supply chain development statement (SCDS) submitted earlier this year.
The group has also begun a partnership exercise with community ownership experts Energy4All to investigate options for Scottish communities to benefit.
Meanwhile, Ørsted has also taken a majority stake in the Salamander floating wind project off the Aberdeenshire coast, as part of a joint venture set up by Simply Blue Group and Subsea 7.