Half of Scottish Power £1.6bn investment in new fleet of wind farms is ‘spent in Scotland’

Breakdown of location of £1.6bn spend on eight Scottish Power onshore wind farms
Breakdown of location of £1.6bn spend on eight Scottish Power onshore wind farms

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:

  1. Differential costs for the main packages and areas of expenditure such as turbine, civil works and transmission OMS
  2. The recruitment of labour for the civils contract, and
  3. The availability of UK-sourced towers.
Schedule of the wind farms included in the report
Schedule of the wind farms included in the report

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

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed