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‘Wind farm push could face barrier’

EDF Renewables development manager Dave Sweenie, who has been working on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm for more than a decade, said if projects begin to ramp up at the same time, limited infrastructure could cause bottlenecks to occur. When other industries are thrown into the mix, ports will begin to fill up “very quickly”, creating a “real barrier” for offshore wind deployment, Mr Sweenie warned.

Scotland’s offshore wind ambitions could be thwarted as companies jostle for position at the country’s ports, an industry expert has warned.

EDF Renewables development manager Dave Sweenie, who has been working on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm for more than a decade, said if projects begin to ramp up at the same time, limited infrastructure could cause bottlenecks to occur.

When other industries are thrown into the mix, ports will begin to fill up “very quickly”, creating a “real barrier” for offshore wind deployment, Mr Sweenie warned.

He was speaking during a session on the barriers and opportunities to UK supply chain growth, as part of the opening day of Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference 2021.

Last year the UK Government announced a funding package worth 160 million to upgrade offshore wind facilities at ports in several regions, including Scotland.

But critics at the time said the funding was just a drop in the ocean.

Despite a number of recent contract wins, Scotland habitually misses out on work for offshore renewables developments in its own waters, with a lack of infrastructure compared to other countries being the reason that’s often given.

Mr Sweenie said using the Port of Dundee as... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Scotland’s offshore wind ambitions could be thwarted as companies jostle for position at the country’s ports, an industry expert has warned.

EDF Renewables development manager Dave Sweenie, who has been working on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm for more than a decade, said if projects begin to ramp up at the same time, limited infrastructure could cause bottlenecks to occur.

When other industries are thrown into the mix, ports will begin to fill up “very quickly”, creating a “real barrier” for offshore wind deployment, Mr Sweenie warned.

He was speaking during a session on the barriers and opportunities to UK supply chain growth, as part of the opening day of Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference 2021.

Last year the UK Government announced a funding package worth £160 million to upgrade offshore wind facilities at ports in several regions, including Scotland.

But critics at the time said the funding was just a drop in the ocean.

Despite a number of recent contract wins, Scotland habitually misses out on work for offshore renewables developments in its own waters, with a lack of infrastructure compared to other countries being the reason that’s often given.

Mr Sweenie said using the Port of Dundee as the marine hub for the 54-turbine NnG wind farm in the Outer Firth of Forth had taken a significant amount of time out of the facility’s “portfolio” and limited “what else they can do”.

He added: “Port infrastructure could be a real barrier if all the projects are trying to go at once, and that’s what they’re all intending to do. Everyone has the aspiration to fabricate in Scotland, and we’re going to be doing this when other industries want to use the ports as well – they’ll get busy very quickly.

“It doesn’t take much to fill up a port and, with everything else that we want to achieve in Scotland, it will be crowded – that could be a key limitation in how much we can deploy at once.”

David Stevenson, head of energy supply chain at the Scottish Government, said a way to overcome the “boom and bust” of ports would be for developers to work in a “collaborative manner” to “dovetail” projects.

During a separate session at the virtual event, SSE Renewables’ managing director Jim Smith dropped large hints that Scotland may be in line for a “significant” win as part of the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.

The 3.6 gigawatt development more than 75 miles off the Yorkshire coast is being built in three stages, the first two of which have already reached financial close.

GE Renewable Energy, which will supply 190 Haliade-X offshore wind turbines for Dogger Bank A and B, is planning to open a “world-class” blade manufacturing facility on Teesside to support the development.

Mr Smith said: “Hopefully, in the next couple of months we can make another announcement of further significant inward investment, this time in Scotland.

“Again, we’ll use Dogger Bank as the catalyst to drive that investment; it’ll be the seed project that will get it up and running, along with a little help from ourselves at SSE Renewables. We’ll have more on that in the next couple of months.”


Source: https://pressreader.com/art...

APR 22 2021
https://www.windaction.org/posts/52345-wind-farm-push-could-face-barrier
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