Lerwick Port Authority to support floating offshore wind project
Floating offshore wind is seen as a new frontier in the quest for more renewable energy production, and Lerwick Port Authority aims to position itself as a major support centre for the sector. The port has signed its first collaboration agreement with the Irish energy company ESB.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding, Lerwick Port Authority will provide support for the development and operation of a major floating offshore wind farm. The two companies aim to work together to develop port solutions for delivering delivering the offshore development and ongoing operations and maintenance activities for the 500 MW wind farm, east of Shetland.
Calum Grains, Chief Executive, Lerwick Port Authority, said, “The agreement is a significant step in our drive to be a major support centre for the offshore wind industry. It will provide the framework to deliver the requirements of ESB’s wind farm and develop our comprehensive facilities, building on our decades of oil & gas experience. Our involvement will underpin our advancing plans for an Ultra-Deep-Water Quay and additional laydown at the deep-water Dales Voe Base which will service the energy sector.”
Speaking about the partnership, Cian Desmond, ESB’s Project Director, said, “This MOU provides a unique opportunity for both ESB and the Authority to combine our expertise to help maximise the local social, economic and environmental benefits of this development. This agreement clearly demonstrates that both parties are committed to developing this floating offshore wind project together for the benefit of Shetland.”
Seabed development rights were awarded to ESB in 2022 by Crown Estate Scotland through the ScotWind leasing process. Currently in early-stage development, the project is in a 100 square kilometre area identified in the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind. It is approximately 40 km off Shetland, in water depths between 100 metres and 130 metres.
It is estimated the farm will produce up to 500MW of clean electricity, enough energy to power 350,000 Scottish households. ESB is currently asking primary school children in Shetland to suggest a name for the farm.