4th August 2020
Tracking renewable energy plans onshore and offshore Shetland
Lerwick Port Authority is closely monitoring the ongoing follow-ups to recent announcements on potential renewable energy developments in Shetland and the North Sea.
Crown Estate Scotland launched a round of offshore ScotWind Leasing – including acreage immediately east of Shetland – inviting investors and developers to register their interest in obtaining leases to build a new generation of offshore wind farms and help power the transition to a net zero future.
Energy company, SSE, approved a final investment decision for a 103-turbine windfarm in central Shetland, with completion anticipated in 2024. A contract has been awarded recently to construct the farm.
Energy regulator, Ofgen, has now given approval for a £600 million subsea cable to export electricity from Shetland to the Scottish mainland, as well as supplying the islands. Contractors have now been appointed for the installation of the interconnector.
Captain Calum Grains, Chief Executive, Lerwick Port Authority, said: “There is a way to go before all necessary approvals and agreements are in place, but these announcements have increased the prospect of the Shetland supply chain – including Lerwick Harbour – being called upon to support renewable developments on our doorstep.
“It is vital particularly during the downturn caused by Covid-19, that we all keep pace with plans, issues and possible opportunities. Windfarm development offshore could see the port making a significant breakthrough into servicing the renewables sector through market diversification which would be a natural fit with our support for the oil & gas industry.”
He added: “Our experience of working with the oil and gas industry onshore and offshore over more than five decades means our facilities and services are tailor-made for the renewables sector’s requirements – from deep-water for construction vessels and heavy lift capability to extensive laydown and mobilisation of equipment.
“The sector is already showing interest in using Lerwick Harbour, including the planned Ultra-Deep Water Quay at Dales Voe, which we continue to progress in discussion with the offshore industry and Government.
“It is hoped that the plans will benefit from the £100 million Islands Growth Deal, recently announced by the UK-Scottish Governments for Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, including energy as an area of focus.”
Lerwick Port Authority is a one of the most northerly members of the DeepWind cluster, representing Scottish supply chain interests.
Captain Grains welcomed the announcement that Shetland Islands Council and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre have agreed to work in partnership to help develop an Energy Hub concept, delivering a clean, sustainable energy future for Shetland and the UK and bringing a wide range of benefits.