Understanding and overcoming challenges
We're actively engaging the supply chain to understand and overcome several challenges facing the success of floating offshore wind.
Investment and development of ports infrastructure is a central requirement to meet the planned pipeline of floating offshore wind projects. This includes the potential fabrication and assembly of substructures at quayside and selected turbine installation methodology. Port development also needs to address Operation and Maintenance (O&M) needs, which may require tow-to-port (servicing turbines back at port) given the challenging conditions further offshore.
Supply chain capacity
To produce the volume of steel or concrete required in delivery of commercial scale floating offshore wind, there needs to be a focus on supply chain capability and capacity. More offshore wind projects are being commissioned than ever before, therefore the supply chain needs to grow and develop in order to satisfy project demands. To overcome this, we're engaged in a number of Joint Industry Projects to progress discussions and accelerate growth.
As floating offshore wind utilises relatively new technologies there will be a drive to reduce cost pressures associated with supply chain development costs. Additionally, due to uncertainty around commodity costs and inflationary factors, developers and the supply chain will need to work together to reduce project costs where possible.
In this short film, Brian McFarlane, Head of Offshore Wind Development, talks about some of the challenges facing floating offshore wind.
Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges
Resolving the challenges in the supply chain is one of the key issues that we're collaborating with other stakeholders on. As part of the UK's Offshore Wind Industry Council and the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council, we're seeking solutions by working with Governments, other developers and OEMs. In Scotland, we've recently committed to working within the Strategic Investment Model, which is the new framework to support port and infrastructure investment.
Examples of this can be found in other SSE projects (fixed bottom) such as Beatrice, which invested £20m in Wick Harbour renovations, not only improving port infrastructure but also delivering socio-economic benefits by creating a portal for local suppliers to register for contractual opportunities.
Awareness, education and training
Fundamental to overcoming supply chain issues is through the engagement of people both inside and outside of the industry. By educating and sharing lessons learnt from other similar SSE projects, we can help train and spread awareness about the importance of floating offshore wind, particularly in local areas in which ports are situated.
An example of this can be found on Seagreen in which several members transitioned from the Beatrice project to oversee its successful delivery and ensure learnings were carried across. Seagreen has supported growth in the Port of Montrose, Port of Nigg and Able Seaton Port, creating jobs and upskilling local communities.
Another example can be found on the Dogger Bank project where 400 long-term roles have been created locally around the Port of Tyne to support the operations and maintenance of the wind farm.
We're actively working with the supply chain to identify new opportunities for local industrial growth, which will ensure local availability of key supply chains and help to deliver commercial scale floating wind.
Get in touch
If you have any questions on our floating offshore wind projects or you have a product or innovation that would help advance floating offshore wind, please contact us at: f[email protected]