Yumza Yousaf in Aberdeen to open the world’s first dedicated centre for floating offshore wind

Humza Yousaf at the Aberdeen facility opening

THE £9m National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), delivered in collaboration between Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) and Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) Ltd, has been designed to supercharge the development of floating offshore wind technology in the UK.

Industry estimates that floating offshore wind has the potential to deliver more than £43bn in GVA by 2050, and create more than 29,000 jobs.

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More than 19GW of potential projects are currently in the pipeline through the ScotWind leasing process, with a new leasing round on the horizon.

The technology also provides a key opportunity for oil and gas workers to transition into renewables.

Speaking as he officially opened the centre, the First Minister said the “spirit of collaboration” will drive the industry forward.

“Delivering our net zero ambitions will require economic and societal transformation, with sustained investment, both public and private, to achieve it. We know the scale of the change needed. The National Floating Wind Innovation Centre embodies the spirit of collaboration that will drive the offshore wind industry forward.

“FLOWIC also epitomises the relentless pursuit of science in helping to decarbonise our economy and represents a collective determination to solve the complex challenges posed by our net zero ambitions.”

The project has received Scottish Government funding, as well as funding from Innovate UK.

Mr Yousaf added: “We share a common objective to establish Scotland as a first mover in floating wind technology on an industrial scale and by seizing this advantage we can position Scotland among the world’s leaders in this groundbreaking industry as we maximise the opportunities of our Just Transition”.

Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of ETZ Ltd, said: “The opening of the world’s first National Floating Wind Innovation Centre in the Energy Transition Zone marks a hugely significant milestone for the North East of Scotland and its ambition to be a global leader in the commercialisation of floating wind.

“Owing to its world-class oil and gas industry, this region has gained an international reputation for pioneering innovative energy solutions over the last 50 years and the creation of this this ground-breaking centre will help cement that position going forward as we seek to capitalise on the huge opportunities presented by floating offshore wind.”

He added: “A massive 17GW of planned floating wind projects are within 100 nautical miles of Aberdeen and this market leading facility will have an internationally recognised capability to reduce the costs of energy from these developments supporting the incubation of new products, services and businesses across the energy sector.

“We are already seeing a number of supply chain businesses actively transitioning toward offshore wind, creating jobs as they do so, and the operation of this centre will provide greater confidence for them to scale and grow.

“We are grateful to the First Minister for marking the official opening of this facility and for the Scottish Government’s vital funding support to establish it.

“Of course, today wouldn’t have been possible without our partners at the fantastic ORE Catapult, they share our vision for this region and have acted decisively to ensure this this transformational project has been delivered at pace.”

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, said: “This facility represents a groundbreaking step forward in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind – a sector that will be critical to meeting our Net Zero targets.

“When you look at the projected global market demand for floating wind technology over the coming years, the opportunity is eye-watering; dynamic cables alone will be a more than £2bn global market over the next decade.

“Here in the UK we are well placed to play a leading role in that market by developing the supply chain to support the innovations that will bring this potential to life.

“Others are chasing the same prize though, so the time is right to make sure Scottish and UK companies are at the front of that race, and this facility is a key part of helping that happen.”

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