Community energy group Energy4All is celebrating after its consortium partners scored three successful bids in the current ScotWind offshore wind leasing round.
The Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy partnership has secured seabed leases for sites which lend themselves to the deployment of large-scale floating wind technology in Scotland.
Two of the partnership’s proposed projects – a site east of Aberdeen and a site north of Fraserburgh – have been granted leases from Crown Estate Scotland, along with a proposed site east of Caithness, which will be developed by a consortium of Falck Renewables, BlueFloat Energy and Ørsted.
The three areas could accommodate a total of approximately 3.0 GW of offshore wind capacity with the projects scheduled to be operational by the end of the decade, subject to securing consent, commercial arrangements and grid connections.
Marna McMillin, CEO of Energy4All, said: “Climate breakdown is the key environmental challenge facing our society. If we are to successfully decarbonise our economy, we must rapidly replace polluting fossil fuels with clean power. This requires us to generate much more zero carbon electricity to heat our homes and power our vehicles.
“We need the public to support those changes, and we believe one of the best ways of ensuring that support is to allow individuals to have a share in those projects.”
She paid tribute to Falck Renewables, which for the past 15 years has worked with Energy4All and successfully set up seven co-operatives at its Scottish onshore wind farms, enabling thousands of people to buy a stake in their local wind farm.
“We think partnerships of this sort could be a model for other offshore projects in both the UK and the rest of Europe,” she added.
The successful bids combined BlueFloat Energy’s knowledge and experience in developing, financing and executing offshore wind projects with Falck Renewables’ track record of global project development and over 15 years of community engagement in Scotland.
Carlos Martin, CEO of BlueFloat Energy, said: “The Scottish coastline is ideal for developing offshore wind projects and our team is thrilled to be given the opportunity to deploy our expertise to deliver these projects in Scotland. The potential for boosting the economy and reinforcing Scotland’s position at the forefront of the energy transition is huge.
“We have already carried out extensive work on mapping out the Scottish supply chain and now look forward to ensuring we work with as many local companies as possible.”
Toni Volpe, CEO of Falck Renewables, said: “We are delighted that our applications have won the support of Crown Estate Scotland and that our offshore wind projects will be making a considerable contribution to providing Scotland with clean energy. Falck Renewables has a worldwide renewables portfolio and with our growth strategy we are on track to facilitate the global transition to a low carbon future.”
Richard Dibley, managing director of Falck Renewables Wind Ltd, said: “We are hugely excited about the positive impact these projects will have on the whole of Scotland in terms of creating jobs, economic benefit and helping to achieve a net zero future. Over the past 15 years we have seen communities empowered with the help of the financial support they have received from our onshore wind farms and we look forward to sharing the benefits of offshore wind with local communities.”
The Falck Renewables, BlueFloat Energy, Ørsted consortium has already begun work with Energy4All on a new framework which will allow residents of Scotland and Scottish communities to share the financial benefits of the offshore wind energy projects the consortium plans to build in the future.
As part of the preparatory work to deliver the offshore wind projects the consortium will collaborate with Energy Skills Partnership Scotland (ESP) to help train up a skilled workforce in time for construction to begin.
Research will also be carried out with the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) to investigate the potential effects of floating offshore wind developments on the marine environment. Projects under discussion will examine how fishing interests and offshore wind can work together and study the interaction of fish, marine mammals and seabirds with floating offshore wind farms.