Offshore wind floating substructures in Scotland
The UK is the global leader in offshore wind. Now, Scotland is set to become the world’s first floating offshore wind market of scale, propelling the country’s net zero ambitions.
Scotland is set to host some of the world’s first commercial-scale floating offshore wind projects. The Cromarty and Moray Firths, in the north-east of Scotland, offer the ideal locations to manufacture the floating substructures and associated components that these projects require.
Foreign direct investment
Offshore wind, Sustainable infrastructure
Sector and market
A unique commercial opportunity exists to establish a portside manufacturing facility in the Cromarty and Moray Firths, for the serial production of floating substructures and associated components. These components will be deployed to the world’s first floating offshore wind market of scale in the nearby North Sea.
The market for floating wind is set to grow rapidly, both across the wider UK and internationally. The first round of ScotWind lease awards is for up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity from 15 sites around the coast of Scotland. Commercial-scale floating wind projects are set to make up 60 to 70% of this total.
The Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round, aimed at electrifying oil and gas assets in the Scottish North Sea area, would add up to a further 3 to 4 GW of floating wind projects. This would amount to a total market for floating wind in Scotland of 9 to 11 GW, with further opportunities coming from the ScotWind 2 leasing round in the future.
The Cromarty and Moray Firths offer ideal access to potential portside fabrication and assembly facilities. The location also offers a highly skilled and experienced energy industry local workforce, a world-class research and innovation community, and the leading existing floating wind cluster in Europe.
Inverness Airport offers daily flights to destinations across the UK and Europe – including major connecting airports like London Gatwick and Heathrow, Bristol, Manchester, and Amsterdam.
North Sea ports in the Cromarty and Moray Firths provide first-class facilities for cargo and renewable energy and projects. The region is also served by excellent ferry connections.
There is excellent road infrastructure, with major trunk roads connecting the region to the rest of Scotland as well as the UK.
Inverness has strong rail connections to the rest of Scotland, with journey times to Edinburgh and Glasgow of under four hours. The Caledonian Sleeper provides a direct service to London 6 evenings per week.
Local talent and skills
Over 46,500 highly skilled people work in Scotland’s low carbon sector. There is also a large pool of transferable talent from 101,400 people employed in the oil and gas industry.
20,000 students are undertaking a degree-level course in engineering and technology.
Nigg Skills Academy, based in the region, delivers Modern Apprenticeships and up-skilling courses in Advanced Fabrication, producing candidates who are ready to work in the industry.
Research and expertise
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult operates the world’s most comprehensive, open-access test facilities that can increase the scale of offshore renewable energy technologies.
The National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (NMIS), with its Advanced Forming Research Centre and Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, offers significant innovation resources to the offshore wind industry. Companies can use their world-class technologies and expertise across a range of processes and materials to accelerate their work and decrease the risks of developing new technology.
Scotland is a cost-effective home for your business with a range of skills and opportunities to help you expand and grow. It has a welcoming business environment, diverse industries, vibrant cities, and stunning landscapes. Scotland's tradition of innovation is matched by excellent supply chain infrastructure and networks.
Enabling clean growth
The UK government’s ten point plan is making £12 billion available to accelerate the UK’s path to net zero by 2050. Advancing Offshore Wind is Point 1 of the Plan and includes a commitment to a production target of 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
This includes 1 GW of floating offshore wind. The Scottish Government has set a target to deliver up to 11GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 to support Scotland’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2045.
Local and national government and support
Scottish economic development agencies have significant experience in delivering public sector investment and may be able to provide discretionary financial support to inward investors.
Scottish Enterprise grant funding is targeted towards projects that will help generate jobs and support Scotland’s ambitions for a low carbon economy.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise can help with recruitment and training, financing, site selection, and facilitate engagement with Scotland’s DeepWind supply chain partners.
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