Ørsted reveals multi-billion-pound investment plans for Scotland

Ørsted, the Danish offshore wind specialist, has revealed its intention to invest up to £12 billion directly with Scottish companies on developing and constructing offshore wind farms in the country over the next ten years.

These proposals are contained in bids submitted to Crown Estate Scotland through its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round and would provide more than 8.5GW of clean, renewable electricity if Ørsted’s bids are successful.

The company has entered bids for a total of five projects, two floating wind only bids as part of its joint venture partnership with BlueFloat Energy and Falck Renewables and a further three as Ørsted alone which include a mix of fixed and floating wind technologies.

Martin Neubert, chief commercial officer at Ørsted, said: “We have recently set out our aspiration to become the world’s leading green energy major by 2030. Orsted has the largest development pipeline in the offshore wind industry and it’s our clear ambition to remain the global market leader in offshore wind.

“We committed to these ambitious plans for the ScotWind leasing round not only because Scotland can play a key role in achieving our aspiration but because we firmly believe our scale and experience in offshore wind puts us in a unique position to help Scotland transition to a low carbon economy as quickly as possible.

“By incorporating large-scale offshore wind generation alongside renewable hydrogen and green fuels to decarbonise hard-to abate sectors in heavy industry and transport, we will create a truly integrated decarbonisation solution delivering low-cost, renewable power. We believe our bids represent a significant contribution to achieving Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and will underpin the country’s renewable energy economy for generations.”

Ørsted is one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies and in 2021 was ranked the most sustainable energy company in the world for the third consecutive year. It is the global leader in offshore wind with 27 operational wind farms across Europe, the USA and Asia Pacifictotalling 7.6 GW installed and with 2.3GW currently in construction, bringing more than 30 years of experience in the sector.

This includes the Hornsea 2 wind farm which, when fully commissioned next year, will be the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm and Greater Changhua which is the first large-scale and far shore offshore wind farm in Taiwan, also scheduled to be completed in 2022 and providing clean energy to one million households.

Duncan Clark, head of region UK for Ørsted, is looking forward to bringing to bear Ørsted’s decades of experience to support the growth of the offshore wind industry and its supply chain in Scotland. This includes a commitment to work with Scottish ports and suppliers to develop infrastructure and a supply chain that will enable Scotland to establish itself as a leading player in the global offshore wind market.

He added: “Scotland undoubtedly has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world. TheScotWind leasing round is a pivotal moment for the development of the offshore wind sector in Scotland, capitalising on its superb offshore wind potential and world-leading offshore engineering and contracting capabilities, unlocking investment that will create jobs and opportunities for Scottish businesses for generations.

“Ørsted is the global leader in developing, constructing, and operating offshore wind farms. On the road to becoming the global leader, we have gained deep experience in the unique skill-sets required for consenting and constructing offshore wind farms and have a proven track record of delivering on time and on budget. In building and equipping our teams in Scotland, we will use this experience to deliver large-scale projects into operation by 2030 in line with the Scottish Government’s target of 11GW of installed offshore wind by this date.

“Indeed, we’ve already started development works to ensure we hit the ground running - engaging with supply chain companies and with the offshore wind clusters. We’ve been extremely encouraged by the conversations we’ve had to date and see a range of opportunities to build the Scottish supply chain so Scottish businesses benefit from the step-change in offshore wind ambition that ScotWind will deliver and to ensure that Scotland’s offshore wind industry will continue to develop and thrive for decades to come.”

Ørsted plans to develop renewable hydrogen projects in Scotland using some of the electricity from the proposed offshore wind farms. Ørsted is already developing renewable hydrogen projects across Europe and in the UK which will help replace fossil fuels in the maritime, aviation, heavy road transport, refinery and steel sectors.

The company is looking forward to helping Scotland benefit from an industry that by 2045 could be worth up to £25 billion a year to the Scottish economy.

Ørsted’s proposed investment in Scotland would also help drive the growth of a world-class Scottish supply chain. In the past five years alone, Ørsted has placed major contracts with nearly 100 suppliers across the UK, with many hundreds more supported throughout the wider supply chain.

The company has also worked with over 30 UK-based companies to export their goods and services from the UK to support Ørsted’s global offshore wind farm portfolio, including Scottish companies working on projects in Taiwan, Germany and the USA. Scotland is particularly well placed to benefit from floating projects due to its expertise in subsea engineering and deep-water operations.

Duncan Clark concluded: “Through our existing UK projects, Ørsted has helped establish Grimsby and the Humber area as a global leader in offshore wind and this success can be replicated in Scotland. As the offshore wind industry stands poised for the development of commercial-scale floating offshore wind, Scottish businesses are strongly positioned to benefit and cement Scotland’s world-leading position in this exciting new technology.”

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