Promise of new Scots wind farm order from 2B Energy may B2Late to save Bifab jobs

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, on the picket line with Bi-Fab workers in Fife over Beatrice wind farm wages dispute last year.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, on the picket line with Bi-Fab workers in Fife over Beatrice wind farm wages dispute last year.

A Belgian-based wind-energy company has thrown the troubled Scottish offshore engineering yard BiFab a potential lifebelt.

But it may prove useless because of the withdrawal of renewable energy subsidies in the Brit-Govt’s ‘Rudd Reset’ – named after the then British energy minister – two years ago.

Methil-based BiFab is running down its workforce and up to 1,000 supply-chain jobs at its yards in Fife and the Western Isles as it nears completion of an order to build sea-bed piers for a new wind farm in the Moray Firth.

Now 2B Energy has sent a letter of intent to BiFab naming as preferred supplier for its contract to build a new wind farm in the Forth estuary.

Scott Harper, commercial director at 2B Energy, said: “We’ve made the commitment to BiFab to do the demonstration turbines.

“Our procurement is pretty far advanced and we could press forward pretty quickly with contract orders – that would be two structures with the hope of looking at consent extension, which would be up to eight or nine turbines.”

But he said the future of the project is in jeopardy because a subsidy package offered by the Brit-Govt requires the turbines to be generating electricity by the end of September this year.

“Until we can find an alternative to the subsidy then the demonstration project won’t be able to go ahead,” he added.

3 Apr 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