More than 100 Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) members and Scottish businesses attended an innovative Offshore Wind Meet the Buyer event recently, aimed at bringing together the Scottish supply chain and the firm behind the world’s first floating wind turbine.
AREG, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, welcomed suppliers from across the country to meet senior project managers from Norwegian energy company Statoil in Aberdeen, where they found out more about how their expertise could be used in future Statoil projects, including a new development planned offshore Peterhead.
In 2010, Statoil launched the Hywind development off the south west coast of Norway. A world first, the full-scale, floating wind turbine extends 100 metres beneath the sea and was designed to act as a demonstrator, testing how wind and waves affect the structure.
Following successful trials, Statoil now plans to develop larger pilot sites consisting of up to five turbines – one of which is earmarked for the Buchan Deep, situated off the coast of Peterhead.
AREG’s Meet the Buyer event, which was one in a newly introduced series of such events, was designed to give supply chain companies the opportunity to find out about the timing and procurement processes for planned contracts and business opportunities around the new site.
Torgeir Nakken, project manager of the Buchan Deep Project, said: “The Hywind concept is a door opener for entirely new renewable energy business opportunities and can potentially unlock huge offshore areas for clean energy production. The Buchan Deep is one of the areas we have focused on for our pilot park.”
Presentations were given by Nakken and the Statoil project team, including supply chain manager Astrid Morken and specialist consultant Liz Foubister from Xodus Group.
Nakken added: “We engaged with vessel suppliers, cable layers, and offshore construction companies as well as research organisations and universities. It was an opportunity for us to meet with potential businesses looking to further develop this new technology.”
Morag McCorkindale,AREG Chief Executive said: “We are committed to helping to stimulate the growth of Scotland’s renewables industry. This includes encouraging the development of a sustainable supply chain, particularly in the short term, offshore wind, and facilitating the transfer of vital oil and gas skills into renewables.”