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ScotWind projects could bring £25bn boost to supply chain, say developers

Major companies were awarded 17 contracts to lease parts of Scotland’s seabed to build offshore wind farms (Vattenfall/PA)
Major companies were awarded 17 contracts to lease parts of Scotland’s seabed to build offshore wind farms (Vattenfall/PA)

The Scottish supply chain will see a £25 billion investment as part of the ScotWind project, according to developers.

As part of the initiative, 17 areas of Scotland’s seabed have been leased to major energy companies with a view to building offshore wind farms.

The Scottish Government netted almost £700 million through the signing of the contracts, but claimed there would be a multi-billion-pound benefit to Scotland’s supply chains and jobs market as a result of the developments.

Crown Estate Scotland, who ran the leasing project, mandated that developers lay out their projected financial commitments to Scotland.

In documents published on Wednesday, almost £25.5 billion in commitments have been outlined – an average of just under £1.5 billion per development.

Energy Secretary, Michael Matheson, said: “As the world’s largest offshore wind leasing round, ScotWind puts us at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind and represents a massive step forward in our net-zero transformation.

“The publication of these supply chain outlooks demonstrates the truly unprecedented scale of the opportunities that this leasing round will present, not just for our regional and national economies, but to deliver a true just transition for our energy sector, harnessing existing talent and expertise and creating and delivering good, green jobs across Scotland’s supply chain.

“There will be some challenges to overcome as we embark on this exciting expansion in renewable energy – such as grid capacity and unfair transmission charging.

“The Scottish Government does not have the powers to resolve all these challenges, but we will continue to work with and, where appropriate, challenge the UK Government to address these barriers and ensure a just transition to net zero.”

Developers were also asked to outline their supply chain “ambitions” for Scotland – meaning the amount of money they hoped to spend in the country to build, erect and maintain the wind farms.

In total, the documents outlined up to £36.5 billion in ambitions from developers – some £2.1 billion on average for each of the 17 projects.

Colin Palmer, the director of marine at Crown Estate Scotland, added: “The breadth and scale of these initial commitments from ScotWind developers is encouraging, as is their ambition to help Scotland reach net zero.

“However, the challenges in delivering on these ambitions, which will evolve as project details become clearer, should not be underestimated.

“It will require a truly collaborative approach from all involved to ensure the huge potential for transformative economic development, job creation, and a just transition is realised.”

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