West of Orkney Windfarm joins Orkney Renewable Energy Forum


The West of Orkney Windfarm has joined the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF), underlining the project’s ambition to maximise the long-term economic benefits the project will bring to Orkney and the north of Scotland.

Last year the West of Orkney Windfarm secured the rights to an area of seabed from the Crown Estate Scotland in the highly competitive ScotWind process, to bring forward a 2-gigawatt windfarm around 30km west of the Orkney Mainland. The project is now being developed by a joint venture comprising Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG).

Scheduled to be generating electricity by 2029, the project will be capable of powering the equivalent of more than two million homes for decades to come.

The developer has now joined OREF as an associate large business to help the windfarm engage further with the local supply chain in Orkney and maximise the opportunities for local businesses during both construction and the longer-term operations of the project.

The windfarm developers already have an office base in Orkney and have seconded a number of full-time workers to the project via Stromness-based environmental consultants Xodus Group. They are working closely with EMEC on a major research and innovation programme, and with the Orkney Harbours Authority in developing proposals for the Scapa Deep Water Quay, and regularly engage local sub-contractors on survey work. 

In January, alongside a number of other developers, they committed £900,000 to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in primary schools, which includes dedicated funding to support a full-time STEM coordinator in Orkney.

Commenting on the new membership, West of Orkney Windfarm Development Manager Jack Farnham said:

“Our membership of OREF underlines our commitment to working closely with local businesses and the communities in Orkney to maximise the long-term economic and social benefits this project will bring.

 “We are aiming to deliver 40 percent of the project’s content in Scotland over its lifetime and we believe the best way to achieve this is through close collaboration with industry and the communities in which we operate, supported by targeted investment where appropriate.

 “We have been engaging actively with key local supply chain partners for a number of years and already the project is working closely with contractors in Orkney and across the Highlands and Islands.

 “We have received a very warm welcome from OREF and we look forward to working closely with the forum to help enhance the capacity and opportunities for businesses in Orkney.”

 Ian Johnstone, Secretary of OREF said:

“We are delighted to welcome the West of Orkney Windfarm to OREF and we look forward to working closely with Jack and his team over the coming years to help maximise opportunities for the local supply chain and optimise the socio-economic benefits for the islands.

“Offshore wind developments such as the West of Orkney Windfarm will play a key role in helping Scotland and the UK reach their net zero targets as well create a substantial number of jobs, drive investment in skills and infrastructure and deliver sizeable benefits to local communities.  It is great to see some of our members already working with the West of Orkney Windfarm and one of our jobs over this next period will be to ensure other members have visibility of the opportunities that will be created through this development.”

Last year the West of Orkney Windfarm published their Supply Chain Development Statement (SCDS) Outlook document.

The 21-page publication, which was submitted to the Crown Estate Scotland as part of the application process outlines the project’s supply chain and skills development plans, underpinned by a £105 million investment initiative that will be enhanced to £140 million by third parties to support the offshore wind supply chain locally, in Scotland and across the UK ahead of a Final Investment Decision in 2026.

Funds will be allocated across a range of initiatives, including:

·       Over £9 million of direct support for the enhancement of local ports and harbour infrastructure in the north of Scotland.

·       Funding design and delivery studies to allow suppliers to plan investment in additional capability and capacity and position themselves competitively against the project’s procurement requirements.

·       A bespoke programme with EMEC to support innovation and cost reduction in areas specific to the West of Orkney Windfarm.

·       A skills development programme over the next five years to support long term employment opportunities in the wind sector and to support the project’s ambition to achieve a 50:50 gender balance across all operations from first generation.

The document also details the partners’ aim to spend £932 million in Scotland during development, construction and the first six years of operations, underpinned by a target of 60 percent UK content (40 percent in Scotland and 20 percent in the rest of the UK), measured over the life of the project.



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