Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has signed joint working agreements with four of the regions’ leading ports to support the development of the offshore wind sector. The partnership aims to help the Ports attract a potential £100m of investment to the Highlands.
First Minister Alex Salmond, announced the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) in his keynote speech at the Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen today (Tuesday 29 January).
The agreements with Global Energy Nigg, Port of Ardersier, Kishorn Port Limited and Cromarty Firth Port Authority will support owners and operators to secure consents, market opportunities, attract investments and enable further development.
The First Minister said: “We are working hard with our enterprise agencies both to secure overseas investment into our world-leading renewable energy industry and to support Scottish businesses to seize the huge opportunities available, working in partnership with investors and the rest of the supply chain to create jobs and help re-industrialise communities right across Scotland.
“These ports are ideally-positioned to become key hubs for the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy - across manufacturing, assembly, operations and maintenance - and the new Memorandums of Understanding with Highlands and Islands Enterprise underpin the importance that we attach to ensuring that all of Scotland wins from the renewables revolution.”
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE said: “The offshore wind supply chain is showing strong interest in Scottish ports and harbours, and these official agreements give the market the strongest possible statement that the ports in the Highlands and Islands are open for renewables business.
“HIE is fully committed to working with ports across the region to ensure that they are ready to support manufacture, fabrication, assembly, deployment and operational support for the Scottish, UK and European offshore wind market.”
The National Renewable Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP) identified a number of key sites across Scotland offering development opportunities for the offshore wind industry.
Within the HIE area these included Nigg, Ardersier and Kishorn as potential manufacturing sites, and Invergordon as a potential operations and maintenance location. The sites all have a long history servicing the Oil and Gas sector.
HIE has been working with the owners and operators for some time and each of the agreements reflects the individual aspirations and opportunities for the development of infrastructure to support offshore wind developments.
HIE’s Director of Energy Calum Davidson will be speaking at the conference today. He will outline the progress being made to identify and deliver infrastructure needs for the off-shore wind and the marine (wave and tidal) sector across Scotland.