Buchan Offshore Wind backs Cromarty Firth Freeport’s PowerHouse by joining Board

Buchan Offshore Wind Ltd., a global offshore wind consortium and winner of a 1GW ScotWind lease, has joined the board of The PowerHouse, the skills and innovation vehicle of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICF).

Buchan Offshore Wind is a partnership between BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy business with UK offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh; Elicio, an experienced Belgian offshore wind developer, owner and operator; and BW Ideol, a proven floating technology leader and international floating wind project co-developer.

The consortium brings together three highly experienced and complementary leaders with a demonstrated commitment to accelerate the development of locally built floating wind.

Buchan Offshore Wind also has the vision to bring significant levels of employment to Scotland and the Highlands having secured the rights to develop the floating Buchan Offshore Wind Farm, through Crown Estate Scotland’s latest ScotWind leasing round. Located 75km northeast of Fraserburgh, the wind farm will have a capacity of around 1GW, enough to power over 800,000 homes with green, renewable energy.

By joining the PowerHouse board, Buchan Offshore Wind is demonstrating its commitment to delivering skills for people across the region, to ensure they are ready for the opportunities to come, as well as to developing research and technology that will accelerate the floating offshore wind sector.

Nicholas Ritchie, Stromar Offshore Wind – Adam Hollis, Buchan Offshore Wind – Mina Hanna, Powerhouse and Bob Buskie, ICF Green Freeport

The Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport will maximise local and Scotland-wide benefits from a massive pipeline of renewable energy projects and skilled jobs, placing the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net-zero.

Buchan Offshore Wind becomes the second wind consortium to join the board of The PowerHouse in recent weeks, following in the footsteps of Stromar Offshore Wind, the consortium comprising of Renantis, BlueFloat Energy and Ørsted.

Alasdair MacLeod, Project Director for Buchan Offshore Wind said: “At Buchan Offshore Wind, we are passionate about harnessing our combined experience to develop and deliver one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farms off the northeast coast of Scotland. We see this development as a significant opportunity to maximise the output of clean, green renewable power, while strengthening the Scottish supply chain and supporting organisations, including the recently awarded Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.

We believe the Cromarty Firth is perfectly positioned to continue to be a thriving hub for the renewables industry. The Green Freeport status will further the region’s potential, including building a pipeline of sustainable jobs that will benefit not only Scotland, but the UK.”

Bob Buskie, Director of The PowerHouse, speaking on behalf of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, said: “ICF is delighted that Buchan Offshore Wind is supporting the further development of regional skills and expertise by joining the board of The PowerHouse. With the experience that the alliance of BayWa.r.e, BW Ideol and Elicio bring, they will play a crucial role in the development of our plans.”

Fred. Olsen 1848 backs Opportunity Cromarty Firth’s Green Freeport bid with plans for an innovative Mobile Port Solution

Fred. Olsen 1848, a renewable energy innovation company, is exploring the deployment of a mobile quayside, known as the Mobile Port Solution, as part of Opportunity Cromarty Firth’s(OCF) bid to become a Green Freeport.

Building upon the existing infrastructure and competencies for manufacturing, assembly and integration of large industrial scale floating offshore wind structures, the Mobile Port Solution will enhance the floating offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure in Scotland, not the least in the Highlands, and contribute to establishing a floating offshore wind cluster in Inverness and the Cromarty Firth.

The Mobile Port Solution is based on proven technology with minimum environmental impact and builds on existing infrastructure. A wind turbine installation vessel combined with a storage barge, will be located at a suitable location within Cromarty Firth, creating sufficient space and working conditions during the pre-assembly, pre-commissioning, and wind turbine installation on the floating foundation.

CEO of Fred. Olsen 1848, Sofie Olsen Jebsen, states: “Our journey in renewables began 30 years ago, and today Fred. Olsen-related companies employ more than 2,500 people within the renewable energy sector and have in-depth experience from offshore wind. With more than 380 employed people in Scotland across the Fred. Olsen related companies, our focus has always been to create value for the Scottish economy, local suppliers and communities.

“By setting up the Mobile Port Solution in the Firth, Fred. Olsen 1848 would provide an immediate solution for the rapid and cost-efficient installation of floating offshore wind, enabling the creation of new attractive green job opportunities, not only to the Firth but also for the UK in general. This presents an opportunity for the whole Scottish supply chain, including Fred. Olsen 1848 and other Fred. Olsen-related companies, and we support the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport bid.”

The opportunity was further described in a letter of support to OCF’s Green Freeport bid from Esben Strandgaard Kyndesen, Chief Commercial Officer of Fred. Olsen 1848. Kyndesen stated that Inverness and the Cromarty Firth has “the ideal geographical location” for a floating offshore wind cluster as recommended by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) in a recent independent report.

He said: “Cromarty Firth offers ideal infrastructure and competencies for manufacturing, assembly and integration of floating offshore wind structures at the size and scale required by the industry, which will be enhanced further with the innovative Mobile Port Solution.“

Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, speaking on behalf of OCF, said: “OCF is delighted that Fred. Olsen 1848 is supporting our bid to achieve Green Freeport status for Inverness and the Cromarty Firth. The importance of this status to not only the Highlands but also Scotland as a whole cannot be underestimated. It would bring skilled green jobs and high-wage opportunities on a level not seen since the 1970s oil boom.

“The Fred. Olsen 1848 Mobile Port Solution would increase available infrastructure and, used in conjunction with the excellent existing port facilities at Invergordon and Nigg, would enable the Firth to support a larger number of offshore wind projects and accelerate the shift to green energy.”