Offshore Wind

Scottish expertise powers offshore wind in China

A contract signed yesterday will see Scottish renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy provide expertise for the first offshore wind farm in the Guangdong province, China.

The contract, which will be delivered over two years, will see SgurrEnergy, part of Wood Group, work with the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI) – one of China’s leading design institutions – on its landmark Zhuhai offshore wind farm project.

Along with offshore experts Wood Group Kenny, the company will advise on areas such as wind farm layout, site selection and design and ocean hydrometeorology. They’ll also carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Offshore windfarm under construction“Another positive step forward in strengthening Sino-Scottish links”

Humza Yousaf, Scottish Minister for External Affairs, is currently in China strengthening Scotland’s trade links. He has congratulated SgurrEnergy and highlighted its success as an example of how Scottish companies are providing both know-how and technology to support the growing Chinese renewables industry.

Speaking from the Chinese capital, Mr Yousaf said: “SgurrEnergy already has a very strong track record of providing renewables expertise, knowledge and technology to China as it works towards meeting its green energy targets, and this announcement is great news for both countries.”

“It is another positive step forward in strengthening Sino-Scottish links and confirming Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in the development of renewable energy.”

Building on an impressive track record

This latest project builds on SgurrEnergy’s strong track record of consulting on offshore wind development in China. The company was involved in the Jiangsu offshore wind farm project and has worked alongside the main Chinese utility providers – via the World Bank’s China Renewable Energy Scale-up Programme and EU Aid China.

Cathryn Chu from SgurrEnergy’s Beijing office said, “SgurrEnergy has been involved in the Chinese offshore wind industry since 2007. Our knowledge and experience gained in China, together with our advanced technical capability in offshore wind from Europe, has been key in the success of this partnership with GEDI.

We are excited to be involved in the Chinese offshore wind sector in Guangdong, after having previously worked in Shandong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.”

Dr. Wang Hailong from GEDI said, “GEDI is proud to be involved in this landmark project. The support of SgurrEnergy and Wood Group Kenny, with their extensive experience in offshore wind, combined with our local experience in typhoon and soft seabed issues, is helping us address the engineering and technical challenges involved in offshore wind development in the region.”

“Scotland has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world”

Anne MacColl, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, is also in Beijing promoting Scotland’s trade and investment agenda.

She said: “Scotland has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, which, coupled with our strengths in innovation and the engineering excellence developed over the past 40 years since North Sea oil and gas discoveries, have helped make us an internationally competitive global energy player.”

“This latest success by SgurrEnergy demonstrates the reputation of the Scottish renewables sector as a collaborative knowledge partner for technology and engineering in China.”

Fishing Vessel Conversion to Support Offshore Wind

Study commissioned by Scottish Enterprise

In support of the Scottish Government’s policy of developing offshore renewable energy capacity in Scotland while providing a sustainable future for the Scottish fishing community, Scottish Enterprise has commissioned a study on behalf of the Scottish Government to investigate the potential opportunities for the use of the Scottish Fishing fleet to support the offshore wind industry in Scotland.

West coast fishing vesselThe study will incorporate the following 5 aspects:

1) A Demand Study:

 Where the potential demands from the offshore wind developers for vessels to service the offshore wind sector will be determined. Specifically demand for vessels in the following  roles will be considered:

a. Geotechnical survey
b. Hydrographical survey
c. Geophysical survey
d. Benthic survey
e. Bird, fish, marine mammal survey
f. Marine traffic survey
g. Acoustic and environmental monitoring/survey
h. Cable route and depth of cover survey
i. Marine fouling removal and cleaning
j. Buoy relocation and servicing
k. Guard zone support
l. Accommodation support
m. ROV/AUV support
n. Air dive support
o. Crew transfer/marine access

2) A Supply Study

 Which will investigate the potential vessel availability, use and conversion options for the Scottish fishing fleet, should the owners express interest, and their vessels’ have the potential capability to support the offshore wind industry in the above roles.

3) A Shortfall Study:

An analysis of the differences between the demand for vessels, the ability for vessels from the fishing vessel fleet to support some of that demand, and where the shortfall may be sourced from within the commercial workboat or ship fleet.

4) A role, retrofit and Conversion Study:

Analysis and categorisation of the types of retrofit and conversion options which may be required of a fishing vessel to fulfil a role in the offshore wind industry, together with an assessment of indicative costs.

5) Identification of Operational Locations:

A high level evaluation of the location, facilities and constraints of potential operational locations from which vessels may be deployed to support the different lifecycle phases of an offshore wind farm.

Initial engagement with industry stakeholders is via  a targeted perception survey which can be accessed and completed HERE.


European Offshore Wind Centre Approved

Wind test centre gets go-ahead – Trump trumped

The Scottish Government today announced consent for the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.

The development consists of 11 wind turbines and their connecting cables, sited between two and 4.5 km off the Aberdeenshire coast, capable of generating up to 100 MW.

The Centre, which is not a conventional wind farm, but an offshore deployment centre, will allow offshore wind developers and supply chain companies to test cutting edge wind technology in an offshore environment before commercial deployment.  This will reduce development risks and capital costs by providing the opportunity to test real time reliability and capacity generation and will ultimately support the creation of jobs across the industry. The Centre will reinforce Aberdeen’s place as the energy capital of Europe.

Consent is granted subject to conditions which will mitigate a range of impacts.  These include the agreement of a Radar Mitigation Scheme, a Defence Radar Mitigation Scheme, a Black Dog Firing Range Management Plan, a Construction Method Statement, a Design Statement, an expert panael to inform thea Project Environmental Management Programme, a Construction Noise Management Plan, a Vessel Management Plan, a Cable Laying Strategy, and  a Navigational Safety Plan and the establishment of an expert panel to inform the Project Environmental Management Programme. Further details of these conditions and others are set out in decision letter and consent.the design document.

465 public representations in support of the proposal were received. In spitre of Donald Trump’s best efforts only  148 representations objecting to the proposal were received.

The planning decision for the substation at Blackdog, Aberdeenshire will be a matter for Aberdeenshire Council.



Interest invited for offshore turbine testing site at Hunterston

Lease of berth at  Hunterston Test Centre for Offshore Wind offered

Offshore wind turbineScottish Enterprise and SSE are investors in a project to develop the Port of Hunterston, for the testing of the latest full scale offshore turbine technology.

Scottish Enterprise is developing one of the three test berths and is seeking initial expressions of interest from manufacturers interested in leasing this from July 2015.

Hunterston has a key role to play in developing the offshore wind supply chain in Scotland and the UK. Its wind resource replicates offshore conditions, and this coupled with its existing grid connection, makes it an ideal site for the testing facility.

The site’s location, less than an hour from Glasgow airport, gives manufacturers 24 hour access to make modifications and repairs – critical for early series prototype turbines.

In addition, SSE is working with its supply chain partners Siemens and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe to test their latest turbine technology at two of the berths.

Scottish Enterprise is hoping to attract a turbine manufacturer to the third berth who will commit to locating significant research and development or manufacturing facilities in Scotland.

Hunterston has also been identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan as being a site capable of accommodating manufacturing and operations and maintenance facilities. The site owner, Clydeport, has identified 40 acres of land which is immediately available for renewables related development.

Adrian Gillespie, director of Energy and Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland is increasingly becoming recognised as a centre of expertise in offshore wind research, development and manufacturing. Thanks to our vast resources, skills, world-class research and an expanding supply chain, we have already seen a number of key players in the industry announce investment in Scotland.

“The difficulty of finding suitable locations for this type of testing facility mean there are currently no sites of this kind in the UK, and a very limited number across Europe – all of which have limited access.

“This means that Hunterston has a crucial role to play in supporting the development of the offshore wind industry at a European level.”

The invitation for expressions of interest coincides with the Scottish Renewables Annual Conference, being held at Edinburgh International Conference Centre, which will attract more than 700 delegates over two days.


Scotland sets out long-term vision to cut power sector emissions

Carbon from power generation to fall by four fifths by 2030

Scotland has set a target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030, underlining the huge market for offshore wind beyond 2020.

First Minister Alex Salmond revealed the new target in an address this morning at the Scottish Renewables/Scottish Enterprise Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference, Aberdeen.

In 2010 emissions from electricity grid activity in Scotland were estimated to amount to 347 grams of carbon dioxide per Kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

A target of 50gCO2/kWh by 2030 – in line with independent advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change – is contained within Scotland’s revised Offshore Wind Route Map, launched today, and also in the Scottish Government’s draft second report on proposals and polices (RPP2) to meet overall emissions targets, being published at Holyrood this afternoon.

Offshore wind farmThe UK Government has resisted industry and Scottish Government calls to use its Energy Bill, currently proceeding through Westminster, to set a decarbonisation target for the power sector now – instead, legislating for a decision on whether to set such a target to be made in 2016 at the earliest (i.e., after the next UK election).

Mr Salmond said: “We face a global imperative to tackle climate change and how we power our economies is a key part of that. Offshore wind has a strong, vibrant future, with plans to install up to 10 GW of capacity in Scottish waters over the next decade. More sites are being scoped for deployment in the 2020s – alongside commercial wave and tidal generation – as grid and interconnection upgrades and storage are further developed.
The First Minister  also announced the signing of new Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and four key ports in the region to support the development of the offshore wind sector.  The partnership aims to help the ports attract a potential £100m of investment to the Highlands. The  four joint-working agreements with Port of Ardersier, Kishorn Port Limited and Cromarty Firth Port Authority and Global Energy Nigg  will support  owners and operators to secure consents, market opportunities, attract investments and enable further development.

Dan Finch, UK Managing Director of EDP Renovaveis and co-chair of Scotland’s Offshore Wind Industry Group (OWIG), said: “To build a long-term sustainable industry and to insulate consumers from rising fossil fuel costs, we need a strong political commitment to renewables. Setting decarbonisation targets is a key part of delivering the confidence necessary for investment.”

He said: “We are working hard with our enterprise agencies both to secure overseas investment into our world-leading renewable energy industry and to support Scottish businesses to seize the huge opportunities available, working in partnership with inward investors and the rest of the supply chain to create jobs and help re-industrialise communities right across Scotland. These ports are ideally-positioned to become key hubs for the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy – across manufacturing, assembly, operations and maintenance – and the new Memorandums of Understanding with Highlands & Islands Enterprise underpin the importance that we attach to ensuring that all of Scotland wins from the renewables revolution.”

HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson added:
“The offshore wind supply chain is showing strong interest in Scottish ports and harbours, and these official agreements give the market the strongest possible statement that the ports in the Highlands and Islands are open for renewables business.  HIE is fully committed to working with ports across the region to ensure that they are ready to support manufacture, fabrication, assembly, deployment and operational support for the Scottish, UK and European offshore wind market.”