Energy boss: Wind farm contracts make Scotland world leader in floating turbines

ScottishPower’s chief executive spoke about the development of two ground-breaking floating wind farms.

August Graham
Monday 17 January 2022 16:40
The 17 developments are a combination of floating, fixed and mixed turbines (Peter Byrne/PA)
The 17 developments are a combination of floating, fixed and mixed turbines (Peter Byrne/PA)

Scotland and the UK can become a leader in floating offshore wind farms, the boss of one of the biggest renewable energy producers in the UK has said.

ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson hailed the development of two new ground-breaking wind farms.

Instead of being attached to the seabed, they will float on the surface of the water – something that opens up many more square miles of sea to development.

The company was awarded the rights to develop the two floating wind farms, the first of their kind in the world, in a new round of awards from Crown Estate Scotland.

Contracts worth close to £700 million were awarded to 17 projects, of which ScottishPower is developing three.

Other companies with contracts include Shell SSE and BP.

No one else is looking to do anything like this, so we become the world leader in the development of the technology

ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson

“What Scotland has done literally overnight is that it has made industrialisation and commercialisation of floating offshore wind a reality,” Mr Anderson told the PA news agency.

“So what has up until now been largely a prototype and R&D (research and development) exercise, the announcements today make it a reality.”

The UK has become one of the global leaders in offshore wind in recent decades, and now is taking the lead on floating turbines, the chief executive said.

“We now lead offshore floating wind. No one else is looking to do anything like this, so we become the world leader in the development of the technology,” he said.

“What that in turn means is that every company that wants to have a future in floating offshore wind … you need to get your backside to Scotland and start investing and getting involved in these projects.”

He said that the price of building floating wind turbines will rapidly be brought down, outpacing the massive cost reductions that regular offshore wind has shown in recent decades.

“What we need to do with floating now is to put all of our efforts and focus on massively driving down the cost of mass manufacture of floating foundations.

“If we’ve only got that one area to focus on, we can really pour all of the innovation into that one area and we can drive the cost down really quickly.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in