Ørsted pledges to invest billions of pounds in the Scottish supply chain if Crown Estate Scotland (CES) approves its proposals for 8.8GW of floating offshore wind projects.

It is the latest pledge of important investment in the energy transition as ScotWind bidders battle to secure rights to develop major wind projects on the Scottish seabed.

The five bids in the auction would make Scotland the leading country in the offshore wind industry.

Initial offers will be made by the CES to successful applicants in January 2022.

Duncan Clark, head of UK region for Ørsted,  told The Press and Journal: “We’ve already started development works to ensure we hit the ground running – engaging with supply chain companies and the offshore wind clusters”.

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Among plans for Scotland, Ørsted is involved in four other bids, including three on its own and two as part of a consortium.

The consortium, which includes Spanish firm BlueFloat Energy and Italy’s Falck Renewables, would deliver floating wind farms.

Clark said Scotland “undoubtedly has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world”. The company’s schemes, which involve a mix of fixed and floating wind technologies, would pledge to work with Scottish ports and suppliers to develop infrastructure and a supply chain that will establish Scotland as “a leading player in the global offshore wind market”.

Speaking to The Press and Journal, Clark added that the auction paved the way for Scotland to make the most of its “superb offshore wind potential, and world-leading offshore engineering and contracting capabilities”,  while also unlocking investment that will create jobs and opportunities for Scotland-based businesses. It is a “pivotal moment” for the development of the country’s offshore wind sector.

Ørsted is one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, describing itself as a global leader in offshore wind, with 27 sites in operation across Europe, the US, and the Asia Pacific region.

“In building and equipping our teams in Scotland, we will use this experience to deliver large-scale projects into operation by 2030, in line with the Scottish Government’s target of 11GW of installed offshore wind by this date,” Clark added.

Martin Neuber, Ørsted chief commercial officer, explained why the company is prepared to invest so heavily in developing and constructing offshore wind farms in Scotland: “Ørsted has the largest development pipeline in the offshore wind industry and it’s our clear ambition to remain the global market leader in offshore wind.

“We committed to these ambitious plans for the ScotWind leasing round not only because Scotland can play a key role in achieving our aspiration but because we firmly believe our scale and experience in offshore wind puts us in a unique position to help Scotland transition to a low carbon economy as quickly as possible”.