Scottish Power has exceeded informal national and UK targets for ‘local content’ for a fleet of eight onshore wind-turbines farms in south-west Scotland.
The Offshore Wind Developers Forum – now the Offshore Wind Industry Council – declared in 2012 a ‘vision’ that the UK content in offshore wind farms would be 50%.
Although this is not a formal target, some wind farm owners see this as the benchmark against which their wind farms will be judged.
The Spanish-owned utility has published the results of an independent economic analysis which assessed the economic impact of these eight onshore wind farms on the UK, Scottish and local economies.
The wind farms have a combined capacity of 474MW and were all commissioned between 2016-17.
Total investment in these eight onshore wind farms was £1.6 billion, of which expenditure on ‘UK content’ totalled 66% while ‘Scottish content’ amounted to 51% (including 16% ‘local content’).
This analysis shows that the local and UK content in the eight Scottish Power onshore wind farms considered is higher than previously reported for other onshore wind farms and offshore wind farms.
The main drivers for UK content are:
- Differential costs for the main packages and areas of expenditure such as turbine, civil works and transmission OMS
- The recruitment of labour for the civils contract, and
- The availability of UK-sourced towers.
For Scottish Power’s wind farms, the first of these was largely favourable in increasing UK content by virtue of OPEX values being relatively higher than in other studies, either because OPEX was high or because civils or turbine contract prices are lower.
For the second, Scottish Power used a civils company who typically use a proportion of labour brought over from the Republic of Ireland – which leads to a lower proportion of UK content.
The only option for UK-sourced towers is CS Wind UK, based in Campbeltown. It did not supply towers for any of these wind farms.
2 Oct 2017